Friday, July 28, 2006


C says:

A and I took leave to run a couple of errands on Thursday, so we decided to do a few things that can only be done on a weekday. One was to visit Mustafa Centre – it was my first time there… The other was to have Iggy’s weekday set lunch, after M’s recommendation.

Iggy’s is at Regent Hotel, and even though I’d read and heard about how small the place is, it still somehow didn’t prepare me for the tiny little establishment tucked away in a corner of the 3rd floor. An L-shaped bar-top counter faces the kitchen and sits about 15 or so, and there are another 2 private rooms – not sure what their capacities are but the head waiter said the entire place only sits 28 persons. He therefore recommends booking in advance because the place fills up quite quickly.

The weekday set lunches are apparently a very good deal, since the dinner degustation menu costs $150. For lunch, you get a 3-course for $45, or a 5-course tasting menu for $75. Thing is, while you can choose from about 6 selections EACH for the starter, main and dessert in the 3-course menu, for the tasting menu the 5 courses are fixed. The waiter did say that we can change any of the dishes with those in the 3-course list, but I figured that kinda defeated the purpose. So we both got the 3-course menu.

The complimentary amuse bouche was a shot glass with pumpkin puree and sesame tofu. The sesame oil gave it a nice fragrance but I would have preferred a little bit of bite to the tofu. It was completely pureed and was a bit too much like baby food for my liking.

For our starters, I had a capellini tossed with shrimp oil, tiny little dried shrimp, little bits of seaweed and fried garlic bits. It looked like a normal aglio olio, but the shrimp oil and dried shrimp took it to a completely different level. A had the mushroom ragout with a poached egg and truffle mayonnaise. This was tasty but slightly on the boring side. The mushroom ragout had button and morel mushrooms, and it was saved by the perfectly done poached egg.

After reading so much about Iggy’s burger, we both decided to have this as our main course, mainly because I didn’t think A would want to share his with me… Boy, I’m glad we each had our own. Firstly, it’s tiny and almost impossible to eat with anything besides your bare hands (they give you a wet towel cos you’re expected to be barbaric), so dividing with a fork and knife would have been out of the question. Secondly, after the initial disappointment at its size (it’s a minute 3 inches in diameter in total, and the patty is even smaller), the first bite just sent us right to burger heaven. Without doubt, this is the best and most flavourful burger I’ve ever had, bar none.

The patty is minced wagyu beef, which explains both the flavour and the melt-in-your-mouth texture and juiciness. It’s served with a slice of tomato, some caramelized onions, some melted cheese and a truffle sabayon (fancy name for a whisked egg and cream mixture). It was so juicy that I had to keep wiping my hands off on the wet towel, the beef flavour was really intense, and the truffle mayo added an even greater depth of flavour.

Dessert was another winner. A had the foolproof molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream, which was typical and boring, yes, but still very good. The vanilla bean ice cream was excellent. I had the banana tarte tatin with banana ice cream, and I think this was much better than the chocolate cake. The puff pastry of the tarte was incredibly light, flaky and buttery, and the bananas were soft and slightly caramelised. You would think that serving it with banana ice cream would just be OTT-ing on banana, but it was a surprisingly good pairing.

All in all, we were extremely happy after lunch. We weren’t bloated, and although the place had its fair share of chi chi tai tais and the like, we didn’t feel that much like fish out of water, and more importantly, the waiter didn’t make us feel as though we didn’t belong. A and I are already thinking of when we can next take leave and go again, heh.

A says:

The burger RAWKED! The Java Vanilla ice-cream RAWKED! The starters were excellent but not RAWK-worthy. Neither was the $10 OJ or the latte (Note to self: try the cappuccino next time).

Having everyone refer to us as Sir and Madame takes a bit of getting used to, but service wasn’t stuck up. Also, Iggy was there and he doesn’t look snotty at all. Nice, friendly approachable chap. Will definitely go back next time we’re on leave on a weekday.

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