Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Winter Feast at Nude Seafood

C says:

Nude Seafood's Winter Feast was one of the best, and certainly one of the most enjoyable, meals we've had this year. We had 9 amazing courses, cooked and served by an amazing group of people who have so much passion and love for what they do.


We started out with their take on the Thai snack "ma haw", prepared with Angus short rib, passionfruit and pineapple jam and served on a tapioca chip. 


Next up was an insanely flavourful Hokkaido scallop carpaccio with ikura, raspberry purée and a chili jam. The flavours went together perfectly and the scallops were amazingly sweet.


Then came the foie gras and mushroom ravioli in a potato consommé. The clear consommé had strong yet clean flavours of potato; overall a very comforting and moreish dish.


Root vegetables with smoked eel and mentaiko again packed a ton of flavour. There was a brightness from the blood orange sabayon that prevented the dish from being too heavy.


A meat dish came next - lamb rack with sauerkraut, pearl couscous, lotus root crisps and wolfberry yogurt. The chargrilled lamb tasted quite strongly of satay, which wasn't quite what we were expecting. Again the sauerkraut added a tart balance to an otherwise quite rich dish.


 
The two main courses came next - land and sea, so to speak. Sea in the form of kibinago, a Japanese herring, with sprouts and an amazing smoked potato purée. Land was Poussin, a French chicken which had been deboned, then stuffed with chestnuts, cabbage and bone marrow. 

Until this dish, portion sizes were manageable, with each dish just nice for sharing. But the Poussin completely felled us. Even for atetoomuch, it was seriously a LOT to finish. Super tasty though.


The first of two desserts was Eggnog served in festive eggshells - a light foam of rum and cinnamon. 


By this time we were dying, and were happy to split the normal-sized pecan pie with salted caramel ice cream and home made marshmallow. To our horror, when we were about halfway through, they brought another portion, saying we were meant to have one pie each. We were almost expecting them to say they were joking, but nope, they were serious...

Despite being so full we were about to explode, we had an incredible evening. The team at Nude poured their heart and soul into creating and cooking the meal, and it really showed. 

We're looking forward to more amazing meals in the new year from the great people at Nude. Cheers.

A says:

O.M.G. So full. Gonna sleep. For the next year. Seriously, one of the best meals I've had all 2015.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Kite

C says:

The folks behind SPR MRKT and Koskos have opened Kite on Craig Road, a cocktails and small plates concept. On weekdays (Tuesdays to Fridays) they offer  selected items from their main menu as part of a lunch set - $25 for 3 dishes and $30 for 4 dishes. 


We had the somen with sautéed prawns and lup cheong oil. The prawns were fresh and perfectly cooked, and the aroma and flavour of the lup cheong oil really came through. 


This is one of our favourite dishes here - Saba Rillette. They used slightly vinegared mackerel to make the rillette, and the balance of the tartness is perfect. 


They had a festive menu with a pork dish that called to me, with Mangalica pork jowl, porcini mushrooms and smoked quail's egg. The pork was deliciously fatty, and the dish was appropriately comforting and festive, but I still prefer their regular Spanish Pork dish (which we'll have next time and write about).


And we come to possibly their best dish - Uncle William's Quail, with barley risotto and mushrooms. The quail is cooked perfectly, and is ridiculously flavourful and tender. 


Although it's not available at lunch time, I have to give a shout out to their super addictive bar bite - chicken skins with maple glaze. Unlike typical fried chicken skins (which, don't get me wrong, I also love), these are elevated to the next level. They're thin, crisp and delicate, with a maple syrup glaze that makes it both sweet and salty. I could polish off bowls of this.

We predict coming here pretty often indeed. For starters, they're business as usual over the Christmas holidays so we hope to be back fairly soon. 

A says:

Exceptional value for money set lunch. $25 gets you an awesome amount of flavour. I approve. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Cheng's 27

C says:

Cheng's 27 is the new generation of Hainanese curry rice at the corner of Yong Siak Street at Tiong Bahru. I like how they didn't overdo the renovations and overly hipster the place. Instead, they just spruced it up and made it much more welcoming. 

That's pretty much how I'd describe the whole meal. From the moment we walked in, we were treated like old friends/regulars, when it was actually our first visit. 


The crispy pork curry rice was good - the curry could have been more potent (A found it perfectly fine, I just like more spice and heat generally), but I loved the pork chop. Lots of flavour.


It was a toss up between the steamed pork and the crispy chicken with ginger. We went with the steamed pork - lovely tender pork belly drenched in a garlicky black vinegar sauce. My only bugbear is a personal one - there was a lingering scent of coriander in the dish that I just couldn't ignore. 


The home-made omelette, aka foo yong egg, was particularly well executed. It looked like a fairly generic omelette but it was light and fluffy, and the onions inside were cooked just right - no more harshness but not soft and mushy either. 


We also tried their signature gula melaka chiffon cake and a mini chocolate eclair. The eclair was ok, but I really loved the chiffon cake. Light and airy, yet really moist from the gula melaka and organic coconut oil.


They also let us sample their home made kaya, which impressed us so much that we bought a jar to go. The texture is so light, it's almost like a mousse, and there's a perfect pandan to gula melaka ratio. There's also a hint of a floral/fruity fragrance which I can't identify, but it adds a nice brightness. 

The food may not be the cheapest, and it doesn't exactly help that the menu on the table doesn't state prices, but the food is great and the owners really make you feel at home and welcome. It's rare to see store owners in Singapore who take such pride in what they're offering. For that, and simply because the food is great, they get our support.

A says:

A bit pricey, but definitely worth it for the good food and great service.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Meat Smith

C says:

We had an unexpectedly good dinner at Meat Smith, a smokehouse on Telok Ayer Street. Their menu is quite limited - no more than 10 choices each for appetizers and mains, but what they do, they do really well.


The starters were very good. The sliced beef tongue had an unexpected heat from the Szechuan aioli, and while I normally don't really like peanuts as a garnish, these worked very well. 

The smoked burrata, which was a special for the day, was excellent. It was served with slices of prosciutto and cubes of compressed melon. The burrata was creamy and smokey, and the melon had a very interesting texture and a very intense melon flavour.


The brisket burger with rocket on a soft brioche bun was also very good. Nothing fancy, just very flavourful. 

 
We had a half slab of pork ribs, which you can order either dry or wet. Because I don't like ribs slathered in sauce, we opted for dry. These were fall-off-the-bone tender, with a smokey spice rub. There's a range of sauces at the table to accompany them; our favourite was the Honey BBQ sauce. 

The menu isn't too varied, so if there aren't any specials then it may be hard to come here very often, but definitely worth going back at some point.

A says:

The meat is indeed well smithed.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Anniversary at Ember

C says:

Our anniversary is on Sunday, and because Ember is closed, we had dinner there on the Friday before. 

Imagine our surprise when we realised that the entire menu had been overhauled. No more old favourites - not the deep fried tofu, the cold capellini with konbu and abalone, and the greatest travesty, no more Chilean seabass anniversary dish.

This then, was their final audition, to convince us that it was worth continuing to make Ember our anniversary restaurant when everything that we knew and loved was gone. 



Unfortunately they didn't. Some dishes were quite tasty, like the Sakura ebi capellini and the lobster, but they were only good relative to the meal in general. Certainly not memorable dishes in their own right.



The main courses - a duo of duck and a pan roasted Welsh lamb rack, were a bit incongruous with the rest of the dishes. Everything thus far had been prettily plated on clean white crockery. The mains, on the other hand, were very rustic and hearty. Taste-wise, they weren't particularly outstanding either.

It's pretty much a different restaurant now, so we don't feel that bad about making the decision to stop coming back for our anniversaries. Now we just need to create new atetoomuch traditions. 

A says:

The food is tasty, but sadly not as good as before. 


Monday, November 02, 2015

Tribute to Wholefoods

C says:

I really wish we had a Wholefoods in Singapore. The one at High Street Kensington is drool worthy. Granted, it may be overpriced for basic staples, but check out some of their amazing offerings:


Cheese room, with some varieties that I haven't seen in Singapore, like Brie de Melun (a more aged version of the Brie de Meaux that you can find at home), and a Shropshire blue. 


Their hot deli items look really good too. If this sort of choice was readily available at supermarkets at home, I probably won't even bother cooking any more.


I could just have a bucket of chicken wings every day! 


They even have a DIY station for you to freshly grind your own nut butters!

I love checking out supermarkets whenever we're on holiday, and this Wholefoods is definitely one of the nicest ones we've seen.

A says:

Overpriced but very good.






 

Maltby Street Market

C says:

Borough Market is still the place to get a sensory overload - brilliantly coloured fruit and veg, piles of fresh bread, and stores selling cheeses, olives and truffles. 

It's also gotten quite crowded, especially on weekends, so a calmer alternative is nearby Maltby Street Market. The Ropewalk there is made up of about 20 vendors, and the vibe is a lot less frenetic. 


Highlights are The Cheese Truck, which serves gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. There were 4 options, all sounding very enticing - Stilton bacon and pear chutney, queso chihuahua with chorizo and rocket, cheddar and bacon, and goats cheese honey and rosemary butter. The Stilton one was probably the best bite of the day. 


There was a stall dedicated to scotch eggs, which was good but could have been great if the eggs were served hot and crispy. They were at room temperature, i.e. 15 degrees or so, which was a bit cold for my liking. 


We walked past a stall just as they were unveiling their cauldron of Tartiflette, and both the sight and smell stopped us dead in our tracks. It was worth the food coma just to have that plate of deliciousness. The oozy cheese, potato, ham and onion combination was out of this world. 


Other stalls include a chocolate/cookie stall, artisanal gin, honey beer and even one selling beard balm. It's a lovely alternative to Borough; I just hope it continues to retain its charm.

A says:

Fantastic hipster food without the over-the-top hipster douchiness.




Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween at Bincho

C says:

Bincho is all decked out for Halloween, with a special Halloween menu to boot. 


Infant hand, which is actually a cheese tsukune. 


Eyeballs and brains - quails egg and wagyu beef tartare. Unfortunately, to make the tartare sufficiently bloody and brain-like, they used a bit too much hot sauce so I couldn't really taste the beef. 


This isn't on the Halloween menu but it looks like it could well be. It's actually goose barnacles which chef brought from a recent trip to Spain. After pinching off the tough skin, you get to the sweet clam-like flesh inside. Very interesting.


Granted, the Halloween dishes are slightly gimmicky and the regular food is still better, but it was a fun experience nonetheless. 

A says:

The claw...