Saturday, 29 November 2014

Saveur - Far East Plaza

I had always wanted to give this place a shot. Since they had first opened in Far East Plaza, they have expanded to 3 more other outlets. Known to have quality French cuisine at ridiculously low prices. I finally made it here. 

The wait is always very long. Don't be deceived by the lack of a queue, it is based on an Electronic Queue system. The wait is usually 30mins to 1 hour. So go there beforehand, and not on an empty stomach at least (plus the portions are small). 

I ordered Foie Gras ($7.90) as a starter, the rest did not sound too appetizing. But this was really quite good for the price! A small portion no doubt but a respectable chunk of goose liver. Pan seared quite well, and the lentils were very tasty!

The first of the mains that arrived was the Pork Belly ($10.90), it was fairly crispy on the top could be crispier, with the same lentils on the side, topped off with a very nicely done soft boiled egg. Everything blended very well together. It was a very good dish. 

Then came the famed Duck Confit ($10.90), that everyone had been talking about. How can they do a duck confit for just ten bucks?! Now this portion isn't small compared to those outside, not even to Black Swan's - and this is more than a third of the price. It was surprisingly very good! The juices that were meant to be infused were spot on, and the meat was not as dry as I would have expected. Very commendable attempt and for the price. Unbelievable. The mash was a good effort too. 

This one was purely experimental, had gotten the sister to choose something different so that we could try the lot. This is the Lamb Shoulder ($10.90), which was not too fantastic I feel. It is cooked in a curry and the meats chosen were quite fatty. I would only have the fats of a lamb chop if it was charred properly. This has to be a miss. Otherwise, this is an amazing place for dinner with the gang on a shoestring budget, or for students out on a good dinner outing. 

Saveur @ Far East Plaza

 Far East Plaza, #01-07B
14 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228213
+65 6736 1121

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 4/5 (ave $30 per pax) 

Mozza Pizzeria

For a workday Team lunch, we took the quick short walk from Marina Bay Financial Centre to MBS and ended up at Mozza Pizzeria. 

For the 10-20min wait, we ordered a few starters to keep us waiting. The Cauliflower Fritti ($15) came recommended by one of my colleagues. I hate Cauliflower.... But this dish, oh my gosh, is AMAZEBALLS! The batter was tasty and did not feel the least oily. And with the cheese dip... Lunch expectations were set very high. 

The Mussels were okay, can't compare to those at Brussels Sprouts. The sauce just wasn't rich enough to make an impact on the mussels. But the toasts that were left on the plate soaking in the remaining sauce was quite good. 

The Olives Al Forno ($15) was such a simple looking dish but was another shocker. By baking the different variety of olives, in a vinegar red wine sauce soaking in orange peels and garlic cloves, the result was Amazing. The saltiness of the olives remained but was infused with a rich and fragrant flavour. So good... 

The "Fresh Goat's Cheese, Leeks, Scallions, Garlic and Bacon" ($29) also came as a recommendation from a friend. How can you go wrong with chunks of Goat's cheese and Bacon?! The garlic, after it had been in the wood oven, became sweet and very flavourful. What I didn't like though were that the leeks were stringy and tough. It was not like what you have in Korean food or Chinese dishes. 

The "Funghi Misti, Fontina, Taleggio & Thyme" ($30) was ordered for a vegetarian mix in our lunch. I cringed at the initial thought, but it turned out to be great! The mushrooms (Funghi Misti) were fired up separately from the pizza, smoky and tasty! The pizza itself was so good also because of the two cheeses on it - the Italian cow's milk cheese (Fontina) and the Taleggio. 

We didn't understand whether we ordered this pizza because it was the most expensive item on the pizz menu or because we had thought that there was going to be "Gold" on this pizza. Wasn't very special at all... Can avoid. "Egg, Bacon, Yukon Gold Potatoes and Bcippolini Onions" ($38) 

Mozza Pizzeria
10 Bayfront Avenue, 

Marina Bay Sands

 T: +65 6688 8522

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Price: 3.5/5 (ave $50 per pax) 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Mozza Osteria @ MBS

Today, under the arrangement of Chef Lorenz from "Robuchon", we made our way down to Mozza to meet Chef David Almay. 

We started off with some light starters - Burrata and Caviar before we had to decide our menu for the evening. The generous serving of Caviar was very rich in flavour and blended very well with the blanding of the boiled eggs.

And after our wine was finally decanted, we ordered some cuts and LARDO! It melts in your mouth and you tell yourself you are not going to fall on the floor and die. But it is just too sinful. Not for the faint hearted. Washed down well with wine... 

Whilst we had invited Chef David to dish out something for us, we had to order some of the dishes that we had heard so much about. The Focaccia Pizza is served on a hot aluminium pan, which they say is what really cooks this pizza so well. But the blend of Cheeses in this, feels so simple but tastes so good! And surprisingly the pastry held together well.

The other dish is the Tripe alla Parmigiana ($17), the tomato based stew of cow's tripes was really very good! The tripes, washed and treated and stewed for so long that it really dissolves in your mouth. The base was not to sweet or sour as with badly done tomato purees, it found the right balance with herbs and dashings of cheese. 

The next few dishes were the recommendations that came out. The "Ricotta Gnocchi with Chanterelle mushrooms & Bloomsdale spinach" ($29) was nice, rich in flavours. I like Chef David's palette, and not avoiding the healthy bland routine that most restaurants are slanting towards. 

If it were to be in any other restaurant, I would have believed that there is MSG in this broth. The "Tortellini in brodo" ($25) is Raviolli wrapped with Veal in a Beef broth. 

The would be Chef David's main dish of the evening, inspired by an Israeli dish called the "Morrocan Fish". Here he took a Pan Fried Snapper with Tomato Marmalade and some paprika and peppers. 

It was an interesting flavour that would otherwise be very foreign to me. Very herby with a heavy hand, puree-ish taste with a spicy lingering. Yet the white fish did not seem to blend well with the sauce... Others loved it though.

Thank God the awesome Grilled Wagyu Beef saved the day! Slowcooked to a medium-rare perfection, the meats would literally melt in your mouth... Such that you would not be able to distinguish lean from fats.

This piece of chocolate cake that "fell onto my sight" was so rich! It was sweet, and only bordering bitter dark. But yet so creamy. It was almost too much to handle... Almost. 

Picolo Budino Caldo di Cioccolato with Candied Almonds & Bourbon Gelato ($22)


 SINGAPORE 018972 
 T: +65.6688.8868

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 3.5/5
Price: 2/5 (ave $150 per pax) 

Warung Surabaya @ Far East Plaza

With one bad review in Far East Plaza (Sushi Bar), the place is saved by other - Warung Surabaya. Come here if you want an authentic, no frills experience of wicked spice! From the cashier, to the kitchen, they are all bona-fide Indonesians. 

They seem to get a kick out of watching people suffer and sweat under their Belachan recipe... 

It had fresh chunks of sweet tomatoes in the chilli which confuses you between the sweltering spice. It is so addictive! 

The Ayam Penyat, a fried Chicken, that's flattened by the back of a chopper, is the Indonesian "Chicken Rice". It was tasty and cooked well. Not the juiciest of Chicken Thighs, but who cases when you taste buds have been destroyed by the chilli! 

The Ayam Bakar (Barbecued Chicken) was tastier perhaps of the grill and the slower cooking method which allowed more of the juices to be retained in the meat. 

The Tahu Telok (Tofu Egg), was really good! Has to be eaten really piping hot with the sweet satay sauce. The egg strung together like it was Pork Floss. 

Warung Surabaya 

14 Scotts Road

Far East Plaza #05-26/26A
Singapore 228213

Tel: 6738 4369

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sushi Bar @ Far East Plaza

When we had arrived, thank goodness there wasn't much of a queue then. Otherwise, we were warned that it could get quite snaky, as you can see from the shot I took after we ate. 

The place surprisingly had a fair bit of space for a hole in the wall entrance. It was fairly busy, yet the staff were too bothered about service excellence, that I can tell you. The men who shoved us the menu and seemingly reluctant to take our orders might have been the owners. 

I didn't like any bit of the service or that attitude and immediately wanted to leave. However, in the name of foodhunting, I decided to at least try a few of their raved dishes... 

First was the Scallop Mentaiyaki ($13.90), the raw scallops were sweet and thinly sliced, which went well in flavour with the salmon roe and spring onions. 

Then there is the famed Salmon Aburi Sushi ($14.50 for 8 pieces), which I felt wasn't much. You'd probably get an equivalent standard of sushi at Sushi Tei. Seemed like more of the cream was seared then the Salmon itself. The mouth of it I would liken it to a Salmon Mayo Maki... Kudos to the bits of Avocado and Cucumbers, but otherwise nothing to rave about. 

For this level of service, and the length of the queue I have to endure, I'd be better off at Sushi Tei. If you have an urgent craving for a Salmon Aburi with no where else to go, then maybe. Otherwise, I'd give this place a miss. 

The Sushi Bar

14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza, 03-89, Singapore, 228213
Telephone Number: 9625 0861 walk in only

Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday: midday - 9.30pm

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 1/5
Ambience: 1/5
Price: 3/5 (ave $50 per pax) 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Black Swan

Nestled in the heart of CBD, but oblivious to everyone's eye at the Quadrant at Cecil Street, is The Black Swan. An upmarket swanky and spiffy place to dine or to mingle amidst afterwork drinks. 

This article will introduce to some of the dishes available here. 

And be it you are having a sit down dinner or nibbling on a snack with the beers, you MUST order, in my opinion, one of the best Truffles Fries in Singapore. The essence of the Black Truffle immersed into every bit of the fry, and just in case you are uncertain, they shower a small serving of fries with Black Truffle shavings! 

The "Cripsy Calamari" ($18) is something you can order as beer grub too. Not as "Crispy" a batter as I would like, and could use a little more flavour... It will be fine if you dip it into the light citrus tartar sauce (whole grain mustard-kaffir lime sauce). 

The Crab Salad ($21) is very much a miss. There doesn't seem to be synergies in this piece, the flavours, nor the ingredients come together. Avocados, Mangos, Grapefruit, Sunflower Seeds.... And the Crab meat looked tortured to death. 

Iberian Chorizo, Garlic Smoked Pork Sausage, Saucisson Platter ($28), the selection was not as salted as I expected, not sure why the Cauliflower was doing there, bread was cold on arrival... Loved the Tomatoes though!

The "Duck Leg Confit" ($36) is a main you can try. The 18 hours in a sous-vide had sealed its flavours, but it is still a tad dry. (You can try the one at Culinas) Otherwise more of the sauce might have saved the dish.  

Then there is "The Black Swan Burger" ($30). The Lo & Behold group knows how to do their burgers, so this is a no-brainer. The fries were well-flavoured, and when someone puts the Streak of Bacon out like this, its either they are considerate to the health conscious, or they are just showing off! Everything is good with Bacon. 

Desserts were surprisingly good! The "Date & Toffee Pudding" ($14). The Pudding, Caramelised banana, Medjool dates, Rum, and the Vanilla ice cream all went well together. 

The last dish that came out was perhaps the best ending to the night. 
"Dark Chocolate Dome" ($16) The chocolate first melts in your mouth, then seems to spread very quickly inside. Not to overpowering or sweet. 

The Black Swan

19 Cecil St, 049704
Phone:+65 8181 3305
Opening Hours:
11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 1:00 am

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 2.5/5 (ave $100 per pax) 

Monday, 27 October 2014