Monday, 29 April 2013

Bistecca – Tuscan Steakhouse in Mohamed Sultan District


It has become a tradition for Little Devil ('LD') and I to celebrate our special days in a Steakhouse. I celebrated mine in Wooloomooloo November last year (click here for the review). So this time around, after scouring the net, we decided on Bistecca – Tuscan Steakhouse.

As it was a weekday, reservation was a breeze. I actually gave them a called to inform them in advance of this special is my LD's birthday. Nestled in Mohamed Sultan buzzing row of houses, finding parking can be quite troublesome. The best part, I did not notice that Bistecca provided a Valet service on Wednesday to Saturday from 6 pm onwards. So silly me, we ended up parking in UE Square, walking quite a distance from the car park to the restaurant.

We were seated on the indoor front section of the restaurant, where we can see the bar and chefs at work. The restaurant has a nice classy dark oak wooden setting, with dim lighting and leather chairs. A painting of a lady with two buffalo feature prominently in the centre of the restaurant. We were quite lucky that the manager actually look after our table, so service was great throughout the evening.

To kick start this special occasion, we started with our favourite drinks, Lemon Lime and Bitters. A drink that we fell in love with when we are in Melbourne, it is difficult to find this drink in Singapore but recently it is getting more popular and we are so glad.

Lemon Lime and Bitters

Following the drinks, we have our starters; Insalata di pomodori, burrata, prosciutto e rucola (Creamy burrata cheese, sweet parma ham, Momotoro tomatoes and rocket with italian dressing -$18) & Crostini fritti di fegatini alla toscana (Lightly pan-fried Tuscan country bread topped with house made chicken liver ‘pate’ and fresh majoram - $15).


Insalata di pomodori, burrata, prosciutto e rucola


Burrata with parma ham has become our favourite entree. As long as the burrata is fresh, nothing can go wrong with this entree. All the ingredients here are fresh combined, mixed in fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinegar it is just refreshing and appetizing. The crispy crostini create a nice complement to the smooth and creamy chicken pate.

 Crostini fritti di fegatini alla toscana

For the mains, we ordered medium rare Costata (1-1.2kg bone in rib eye of Bistecca’s exclusive organic grain fed Wagyu - Holstein. Marble score 6+, aged - $178). The sides accompanying the steak are Gratin di patate ai funghi porcini (Potato gratin with porcini mushrooms - $14) & Crema di spinaci (Creamed baby spinach - $15). The sauces selection are salsa verde, garlic mayonnaise, Porcini mushroom, and red pepper / tomato compote (our ketchup) + mustards.

Costata (1.2kg Rib Eye)

The sauces

The steak has a nice balance of meat and fats are cooked to perfection. It has a nice charred on the outside that seal the juice inside the meat, and perfect medium rare on the inside. On a first bite, it is beautifully tender and slowly melts in your mouth. Any sauce you choose will go nicely with the steak, I preferred the garlic mayonnaise and salsa verde. My secret weapon to tackle this huge steak is lemon. A little bit of lemon juice will help to cut through the fats of the meat and avoid you being overwhelmed by the fattiness.

Crema di spinaci

The creamy spinach is not to my liking, as it is creamy, mushy and a bit bland. However my LD enjoy it, so it is fine by me. The potato gratin has a nice texture of crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, with a nice potato and porcini flavour.

patate ai funghi porcini

After all the food, we only left a little space for dessert. So we decided on Zuppa di rabarbaro e fragole con gelato allo yougurt (Rhubarb and strawberry “soup” with natural yogurt ice-cream - $12). The staff manage to put a candle on the ice cream and it become my wife official birthday “cake”. Although the rhubarb and strawberry “soup” looks like a baby food, it tasted refreshing and wonderful. It has rhubarb sweetness, strawberry sourness and the creamy yogurt ice cream just blend in nicely together. The dessert is on the house and what a way to end a nice evening. Yummyy!!

 Zuppa di rabarbaro e fragole con gelato allo yougurt

Overall, dining in Bistecca was a wonderful experience. Service was great and we won't hesitate to recommend this place for steak to our friends. Price is on the upside, however you are paying for quality. We'll be back for more in the future. Saluti e arrivederci !! (Cheers & See you again!!)

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10

Bistecca
25 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238969

Tel: 6735 6739
Op Hours:
Tue – Sun: 12.00 – 14.00; 18.00 – 22.00
Free Valet Parking on Wed – Sat, 6pm onwards.
Instant Reservation, Menu and Wine List available on the website

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Yu Cuisine – Creative Modern Dim Sum

Chubby Botak Koala @ Yu Cuisine
Yu Cuisine is one of the elegant Chinese restaurant that grace Marina Bay Sands with its presence. The restaurant itself served Cantonese cuisine with modern innovations in its dishes and also presentation. We actually only come to know about this place from a friend of a friend that is not Singaporean. Although I have been to Marina Bay Sands for a few times, I always try to avoid this place whenever possible.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Loysel's Toy – The Coffee Crafters [CLOSED - R.I.P 13 Dec 2015]

OFFICIALLY CLOSED ON 13 DEC 2015.
To continue to enjoy their cuppa, please go to Chye Seng Huat Hardware




Loysel's Toy is the first outpost (café) established by Papa Palhetta – one of the leading Third Wave Coffee Roaster (coffee artisanal) in Singapore. If you look at their website, the name Loysel's Toy is a way for the owners to pay homage to Edward Loysel de Santais, the first person who invented the first espresso machine.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Antoinette – The Best Pancake in Town [CLOSED]





Since the first time we had our first Blinis (thick pancake) in Antoinette in Penhas Road (check out the review here), we're kind of hooked with it. So we promised our friend SH (the desserts queen) that we will bring her when she is in SG.

This time around we headed to Antoinette in Palais Renaissance for high tea. This is the first time, that we went to this outlet, and we were totally impressed. Lets just say, Antoinette and Palais Renaissance are made for each other. The French Monarch era decoration of Antoinette fits nicely with the décor of Palais.









So for high tea, we had Blinis with blueberries and maple syrup ($12) and Blinis with Strawberry compote ($12). Both served with crème chantilly (a fancy name for whipped cream ha..ha..).

Blinis with blueberries and maple syrup
Blinis with Strawberry compote 


Both of the pancakes are excellent. It is soft, moist and done to perfection. The blueberries were incorporated in the pancake, topped with maple syrup, while the strawberry compote has the nice balance of sweetness with the strawberries. The crème chantilly, which is soft, light with a dash of sweetness really took the pancakes to another level. I can have this everyday.

For drinks, I tried the Cafe Viennois ($6.5) for the drink – Antoinette Coffee served with crème chantilly on the side. The coffee has a nice aroma, slightly bitter but when you add the crème chantilly it has nice creaminess and a touch sweetness into it.

Cafe Viennois

Service in Antoinette is normally excellent. The staff from Antoinette are friendly, well trained and professional. However, during this visit I find they were slightly rude, arrogant and not keen to serve at first. Maybe because we were dressed so casually unlike the tai tai which normally visit this outlet. To be fair, the service got better after they took our order.

Overall, there is no doubt when it come to pancakes, Antoinette is still the place to go. Where else can you get such excellent crème chantilly. Vous revoir!! (See you again!!)


Food & Drink: 9.5/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10


Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Road
#B1-08/09/10C, Palais Renaissance
Singapore 238871

Tel: 6735 6392
Op Hours: Daily 11.00 – 22.00
Menu available on the website

Saturday, 20 April 2013

PS. Cafe @ Harding – Beautiful Place for Social Gathering


When you come into Dempsey from Harding road entrance you will definitely see a unique and eye catching glass covered restaurant prior to the Dempsey cluster. On a rainy evening, the lights along the restaurant create a special warmth feeling, enticing you to walk in and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Monday, 15 April 2013

[CLOSED] Gossip – The Corner Place where you can Talk Cock Sing Song



The most common thing to be associated with Hong Kong Cafe / bistro is that there are lots of items in the menu. Baked rice, baked pasta, thick French Toast, black pepper chicken chop, sandwiches, burger, different type of drinks are just to name a few items on the menu.

Xin Mei Congee – Comfort Food Anyday


It seems that after the CNY food extravagant, the Little Devil had cravings from something soft, smooth and comforting. Basically we have been looking for Cantonese Congee that open for dinner and near to our home.

So after some research, I found Xin Mei Congee and we drop by this place on one evening after work. One thing that we like about Cantonese Congee is that it is smooth and full of flavour. On our recent visit to HongKong, our foodie friend there, Platypus teach us how it's normally done (See below, for the know how)

Xin Mei Congee

I ordered the mixed pork porridge and my other half ordered the Century Egg congee. Each bowl come with half portion of the You Tiao (Fried Dough Stick). The congee is thick, smooth, velvety and full of flavour. As per normal practice, the congee come from a big central pot, upon order they then add your ingredients in a different pot and bring to the boil. Ingredients are generous, and the portion in enough for one person.

Pork Congee

The you tiao is fried freshly in the shop, so when you get on your bowl, it is still nice and crispy. Other than the congee, they also offered Yu Seng, Fried Tofu and Macaroni, which we did not have a chance to try.

Service wise, they might not have the most friendliest staff. They hardly smile, and they don't like you to touch any of the utensils. Just tell them what you want and they will pass it to you. It is a self service, but for a few tables close to their shop, the staff will deliver to you (base on his discretion).

Overall, a good Cantonese Congee but we have tried better one in Singapore. However, if you need something light and comfortable and you are in Ang Mo Kio, this is a place to go.

Congee: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a

Xin Mei Congee @ BLK 724 AMK FC
Block 724 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6
#01-32. Block 724 Ang Mo Kio Food Centre
Singapore 560724
Op Hours: Daily 07.30 – 21.30

How to cook Cantonese Congee
After washing the rice (long grained), add some oil to coat the grains and let it marinate for 30min or so. Add water or stock if available. Base on the following ratio, water should double the grains and can not be more than 1/2 of the depth of the pot. Do not add any other ingredients to the pot, as this will block the grains from circulating during cooking and stick to the pot. Use high fire for over 45 mins or so, where you can start seeing the rice grain exploded and broken. You should be able to get a nice congee with the rice grains nicely broken up afterwards. Use another pot to add the ingredients and cook to your liking.

Disclaimer: I have not tried this yet. In case it does not work, let me know and I will hold the Platypus accountable next time I am in Hong Kong!!!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Patisserie G – A Patisserie with The G Spot


Patisserie G is established by The Cordon Bleu – trained pastry Chef Miss Gwen Lim. She is a purist when it comes to pastries and only use the traditional ingredients from French and good quality French Product.


Other the normal bread such as croissants, baguettes and brioches, you can actually find such sweet treats such as the following:The G Spot - Dark Chocolate mousse with chocolate meringue, sits on chocolate hazelnut praline crunch; Triomphe - Salted, slightly burnt caramel mousse with layers of hazelnut sponge; and Saint Hanore - choux puffs lightly glazed caramel, pipped with chantilly cream, seating on sable base.

The Counter

To satisfy our sweet teeth after our dinner in Tomi Sushi (See Tomi Sushi review), we decided to stop by at Patisserie G for a cuppa and cakes. The coffee bean from this place is supply by the artisan roaster Liberty Coffee. The coffee is smooth, rich and creamy. A perfect partner to the sweet treats that we are going to enjoy.

Cafe Latte

The G Spot has a nice balance of the dark chocolate, texture of the mousse and hazelnut crunch and well balance sweetness. Triomphe shown that salted and sweet can actually goes together, especially when it comes to caramel. The sponge is soft and moist. The Saint Hanore, is a bit though to crack on the top, as the caramel has hardened. Other than that, the puff, chantilly cream is just Yummyyy!!!


The G Spot
Saint Hanore

Triomphe

When it comes to the sweet treats here, we are totally impressed with what is to offer here. The taste, texture and sweetness are close to perfection. A perfect complement for your tea or coffee.

During our visit, it was only one server in the shop. His is very attentive, however due to the number of customers, it took him a while before we received our order as he need to do everything by himself.

Overall, if you are around Millenia Walk or Suntec City area, this is a place to try for the excellent cuppa and French Pastry. Bon appétit!!


Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10

Patisserie G
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-40 Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

Tel: 6338 7578
Op Hours:
Mon – Fri: 7.30 – 22.00
Sat – Sun: 10.30 – 21.00

Tomi Sushi – The Mother of All Sushi



Tomi Sushi originated from Niigata prefecture, was established in 1954. They are known for the use of 4 main ingredients in their sushi and sashimi: Koshihikari Rice (The best brand of rice in Japan), Salt from the Sea of Japan, their individual soy sauce that is specially only for Sushi and Sashimi. Not forgetting, Tomi sushi use the best seasonal ingredients in the food they prepared.

Different Type of Soy Sauce

The Setting

To kick start the dinner, we (3 person, with our friend SH) have Sashimi Moriawase - 2 person portion ($60), consist Salmon, Tuna, Yellow Tail (Hamachi), Kampachi & Scallops. The sashimi is really fresh, silky smooth and generous in the cutting. You can taste the flavour of the ocean in each sashimi. The special sashimi sauce really helps to elevate the natural sweetness of the sashimi. The best complement to the sashimi, is that I really enjoyed the Tuna, which I normally avoided because of the flaky flavour. The fats of the tuna melts in your mouth!

Sashimi Moriawase

Next come the Sushi Session: First, Salmon Zukushi ($28), combination of Salmon Belly (Toro) Sushi, Salmon Sushi, Grill Salmon Sushi and Salmon Sushi Roll. This is where the combination of Koshihikari Rice, Soy sauce for Sushi, and freshness of the ingredients really shows. Each sushi are made to perfection, and when you put it in you mouth, it just melts with each bite.

Salmon Zukushi 

The same can be said with Omakase Nigiri ($49), the difference is that it uses quality ingredients. Such as Maguro Chutoro Sushi, Tai Sushi, Uni Sushi, Ikura Sushi, Akaebi Sushi and Tamago. Yummyyy!!

Omakase Nigiri

Maguro Chutoro Sushi - Close up

From there, we just keep ordering some more sushi to satisfy our palate. Unagi sushi ($7), Toro Salmon sushi ($8), Ika sushi ($5), Uni Sushi ($20) and Mekajiki (Swordfish) Sushi ($8). Each one of them are made to perfection, Compliments to the Master Sushi Chef!

Unagi Sushi

Uni Sushi

Toro Salmon sushi, Ika sushi,
Hamachi Sushi and Mekajiki (Swordfish) Sushi 

To finish the dinner, I had Chawanmushi. It is smooth, silk and full of flavour from the stock that they combine with the egg before steaming. Simple yet delicate. Excellent.

Chawanmushi

Service is great and seamless. It is easy to get their attention, and it seems they know when you need them. The waiter is very knowledgeable and they seems to be proud of being part of the restaurant.

Décor is Zen and simple. Customers are given individual boot, to ensure more privacy. There are some high chairs on the sushi bar for those who wants to see the Sushi Master at work.

Sushi Counter - Sushi Master at work

Overall, we all have a great experience dining in Tomi Sushi. Considering the quality of the food their serving, the price is excellent. The best sushi we had for a while, and without doubt we will come back for more.


Food & Drink: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10

Tomi Sushi @ Millenia Walk
9 Raffles Boulevard
#P3-04 Millenia Walk (Inside Parco)
Singapore 039596

Tel: 6333 4633
Op Hours: Daily 11.30 – 22.30 (Last Order 21.45)
Menu available from the website

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Tim Ho Wan – Michelin Star Dim Sum


With the recent announcement that Tim Ho Wan will be opening its 1st overseas outpost in Singapore, me and the Little Devil decided to try out one of their establishment while we were in Hong Kong last month.

The Banana Leaf Apolo – Celebrating 40 years



As the Little Devil and her friends have cravings for Curry Fish Head, we decided to pop by one of Little India's renowned Indian restaurant for the Curry Fish Head. Located, behind the Verge shopping centre, we were lucky that we were able to find parking on this busy road.