Monday, 12 January 2015

Chotto Matte

I was asked by a friend to try this place for awhile now. So I dragged him along with me. This place isn't hard to find. It is nicely tucked behind the Roti Prata shop that is facing Singapore General Hospital. 

The freshly painted white walled, royally nestled in the corner hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the main road and the row of pubs that litter the Kampung Bahru stretch. 

There are so many items on the menu! It is busy with Yakitori items, to Sashimi and Sushi, to Dons... So I asked my friend for recommendations, and here it is: 

The "die die must try" is the Pork Belly Don, or perhaps he knows I have a weak spot for all things Pork Belly (hence the High Cholesterol). But seriously, the magic is in the Garlic Fried Rice - a secret that Chef Chee claims he will never tell. Then comes the perfectly fired Pork Belly (not just any pork but from the star studded region of Kagoshima), the fats are slightly charred to give off that irresistible fragrance. 

Kagoshima Pork Belly Don ($35)

And from the same region, more known actually for its beef, is this simple skewer. For looks are so deceiving... I promise you that there is minimal seasoning on this piece of meat. It is just the quality of the Kagoshima Beef and the expert hands of the chef over the fire. It simply melted in my mouth! It was so good, I could cry. Seriously.  

Kagoshima Toru Buta ($5)

Basically there is a selection of 28 yakitori items on the menu. It was just the two of us, so we didn't order much. (Still the bill came to be fairly substantive)  

Tebasaki ($3)

Next up on the table is another Pork Belly dish. Method of preparation appears to be like the Dong Po dish in Chinese cuisines. Braised and slow cooked till the skin and fats amalgamated to become one texture, whilst the meat simply pulls easily into shreds. 

buta kakuni ($29)


On the side, I could not resist ordering the Foie Gras sushi. I was curious to see how two exotic ingredients would blend -  the Unagi (Eel) and the Foie Gras. And it turned out very well. The sweet sauce was the gelling factor, and texture wise the foie gras burst out from within seemingly to seal in the flavours of this mouthful. 

Foagura Unagi Maki ($28).

The Verdict is that this place is a young and rare gem. Though pricey it is every bit quality for money. Though slightly hard to get to, it proves to be a nice getaway from the town and touristy areas for your romantic date or a quiet dinner with friends. 

I will be back to try the Omakase set, which is only $100! (certainly cheaper than my ala carte experience)

Chotto Matte

54 Blair Road (Opposite SGH)
Tel: 6222-8846
Opening Hourse: Mon to Sun from 5pm till late

Taste: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Price: 2/5 (ave $100 per pax) 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Jamie's Italian - Avoid!

I have heard so much bad reviews about this place since its opening. Nonetheless, being as professional and impartial to opinions, I decided to try this for myself. Just to see just how bad this place really can be. 

 Before we even started, I have the waitress arguing with me whether I had said table for 5 or six. She was so rude! Best thing is, I was shown to a table that sat for 6 anyway... 

As we were shown the menu, nobody came up to us to check if we needed any recommendations or if they would suggest the specials. Nobody bothered to offer us any water in the process till we asked for it. Coming from a Coffeeshop maybe, but Jamie's restaurant?! Appalling.

So we ordered... 

For starters, the menu claimed "World's Best Olives on Ice" ($7.50). So I had to try. What appeared on my table was quite surprising. 9 fresh unpitted Mediterranean olives on ice and a black olive dip. 

Then I figured, you could hardly go wrong with a Bruschetta - I was wrong... The Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta ($10.50) was MISERABLE! This for ten bucks! 2 raw asparagus, some leaves on toast. What culinary skills was involved in this?! My 3 year old cat can do this! 

So onto the dredded pastas... 

I ordered the "Octopus & Mussels Spaghetti" ($16) thinking that with good ingredients, the pasta could barely go wrong - wrong again. The Octopus was OVERCOOKED and rubbery and powdery! There was clearly too much sauce on this plate. And the spaghetti was like chewing on undercooked "ee mee". 

My friend ordered the "Jool's Favorite Tuna Fusilli" ($14). Wow I bet we "feel silly" alright! How could your wife like this dish Jamie? Bread crumbs on a spoon, simple tomato pasta and small chunks of tuna not even enough for a slice of bread to bring to school... 

The "Wild Mushroom & Smoked Mozarella Risotto" ($16) did not turn out that bad. 

The safest choice would be the "Penne Carbonara" ($13), but who would go to Jamie's to have something that the University canteen could do better for half the price?!

We ordered a main to share, the "Lamb Chop Lollipops" ($32). This was actually the best dish of the night. Lambs was grilled well, left tender. The accompanying artichoke and mint sauce went well. 

The "Burger Italiano" ($27.50) was such a sham. There really isn't much to it making a burger... Utterly disappointing. 

The Verdict? Jamie, please shut this down... It is spoiling your reputation! The place is badly run, obviously by people who have the "I don't give a damn" look on all their faces! 

Taste: 2/5
Service: 1/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Price: 2.5/5 (ave $50 per pax)