Saturday, April 28, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Oh wow. Our second visit to Esquina for lunch today was even better than our first, if that's possible. I had the day off today, so we came sharp at 12 when they opened. We waited outside for about 5 minutes while they sorted themselves out, and were then ushered in.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Yes, they do offer some pretty lavish wagyu beef items, and they certainly don't come cheap, but if you bypass those and just order the regular meats, prices aren't all that astronomical.
We actually tried the Anchorpoint branch, which took over the building that used to house Zhou's Kitchen. We had a really good waiter who helpfully recommended portion sizes and marinades, and I was very impressed that he didn't pressure us to over-order. I actually wanted to order a kimchee soup, but he suggested that since it wasn’t that crowded, we wait and see after the rest of the food arrived, and if we were still hungry we could order the soup. He was right – we just full enough and the soup would’ve pushed us over the edge.
We decided to do a taste test - wagyu beef karubi and regular karubi. I'm ashamed to admit that our peasant palates actually preferred the regular beef. Granted, the wagyu karubi had slightly more pronounced beefy flavour, but it was also slightly tough. In comparison, the regular karubi was only slightly less flavourful but much more tender.
The beef tongue was good too. It was sliced very thinly, and came with sliced scallions and lemon juice. I liked the tongue but I think I prefer the karubi.
We tried a couple of other meats too - the kurobuta pork collar, and a lamb neck fillet. The pork was quite good, but it was the lamb, in a basil marinade, that stole the show. The meat was tender, really flavourful, and went perfectly with the slightly herby basil marinade.
I left feeling very happy and very satisfied. Our bill was around $110, but I can imagine that if we were really in our element, we could rack up a heftier sum. Food was really good though, as was the service, and we're definitely coming back to try more meats, as well as some of the seafood and vegetable items.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
That's why I like Plain Vanilla Bakery so much. Each of their cupcake flavours utilises a different cake base, so the fact that they're cute little cupcakes is secondary; at the heart of it, they're still really yummy cakes. As it should be.
We haven't tried all the flavours yet, but so far my favourite is (surprise surprise) the Salted Caramel, which actually isn't on the mainstay menu. It's a special that will only be available till the end of the month. The cake has swirls of caramel, and I like that the caramel is quite boldly salted.
The Dark Chocolate Ganache is good for those who don't like things too sweet, nor too much frosting. It's coated with a thin layer of ganache, then topped with crushed cocoa nibs. What was most surprising was the cake - I expected it to be quite dense and heavy, but it was anything but. It was really light and fluffy, with a very fine crumb yet still very chocolatey.
A found the Chocolate Banana a tad too sweet, but really liked the Chocolate Chip because the cake base, a vanilla studded with chocolate chips, was less sweet and therefore complemented the sweeter frosting.
I won't lie; the fact that they're in Holland Village is definitely a plus for us. But that aside, what'll keep me going back is just really good cake. Now, if only they'll put the Salted Caramel on their main menu.