Monday, 30 September 2013

Heavenly Gobi Soufflé

Gobi! A name that can be mistaken for a desert in Mongolia instead of desserts. Gobi come into my attention when Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow vouched that they served the best soufflé in Singapore. During my recent visit to the Lawn, I tried the cakes that was sourced from Gobi and it tasted nice Therefore, as the opportunity presented itself, we decided to give this place a try.


With many different and funky food establishment popping up in Joo Chiat, it has slowly becoming a melting pot of the world's cuisine. Thus, it is not a surprise that you will get to have authentic French desserts along the Joo Chiat Road.


We actually got to this place close to 8.30pm on one of the weekday. We were politely informed that they will be closing in 30 mins, so we need to get our order in quickly.

As we just had a big dinner, we decided to order two desserts to share. Chocolate Soufflé ($12) and Crème Brulee ($8).

The Crème Brulee came first. Served in shallow pink ceramic oval bowl, presented with strawberry on top of thinly caramelised sugar. The caramelised sugar is consistently crispy, thin and easy to crack. The cream has the nice balance of sweetness and smoothness of the egg yolk. The only thing missing here is the vanilla seeds, so it is more likely that they use vanilla paste instead of fresh vanilla pods according to our expert baker. However, the Crème Brulee manage to satisfy my Little Devil.

Crème Brulee

Next come the main attraction, Chocolate Soufflé. It is light, fluffy, airy and has a beautiful chocolate texture. The chocolate sauce to accompany the soufflé is just to die for. Two Thumbs up for the chef. Before the end of this, we already planning when to come back for more.

 Chocolate Soufflé

 Chocolate Soufflé

Although the desserts are delightful and excellent, I believe the real improvement needed is their coffee. I ordered a latte. The milk was burnt (too hot) and the coffee is bland without any body at all. Although it seems they have a good coffee machine, the service staff don't know how to use it. Hopefully they look into this, improve or send their service staff on a quick barista course. I personally believe a perfect cup of coffee will elevate their desserts further.

Latte
The décor of the place is mostly white, supported with chandelier theme and sixties lighting. As the place can only cater for around 20 people, the service is quite efficient with limited staff.

The Decor

Specials 

Other Desserts
Overall, Gobi Cakes is definitely a place to try for desserts. Pricing is very reasonable and their desserts are just astonishing. I will personally skip the coffee and go for other drinks. Little Devil and I already can't wait for our next visit here.

Food & Drink: 9/10 for desserts; 4/10 for coffee
Value: 8.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10


Gobi Cakes
350 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427598


Tel: 6345 2127
Website: http://www.gobi.com.sg/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GobiCakes
Op Hours:
Tue – Thu: 12.00 – 21.00
Fri – Sun: 12.00 – 22.00
Closed on Mondays

[CLOSED] The Lawn @ Shenton Way: Bringing Meat Your Greens to the CBD

With the success of its first outlet in Biopolis, “Meat Your Greens” team decided to bring the concept to the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. What a better place to cater to the busy but health conscious Singaporean other than in Shenton Way.


In case that you are curious on the concept of The Lawn at Biopolis, you can click here for the review.

Located on the food section of Basement 1 of AXA Tower, The Lawn is not hard to find. The décor is simple, neat and look huge with long salad bar for your to choose your toppings. The full size glass wall allow the passerby to see what's on offer in the restaurant. The grill are placed at the and with good air circulation you won't come out smelling like your food.

The Front Counter
The Salads Section
The Grill (behind the mesh)
As The Lawn concept is based on a salad bar, the following is the SOP on placing your order:
  1. Choose Base: Salad or Olive Rice (for those that need their carbohydrate)
  2. Choose your Grill (protein: such as chicken, prawn, dory fish, duck, beef or even vegetables)
  3. For Salad Box, Choose your toppings & dressings, you have 26 type toppings (such as vegetables, fruits, pasta, nuts, cheese, etc) and 9 types of dressing options. For Olive rice, you have a standard side salad with no dressing.

The first thing that I noticed when they serve the salad bowl is the size. Lets just say it is 25% bigger than the size in Biopolis. Base on their past experience, the team has created three Chef's pick of top salad combination: Sweet & Chick, Hunky Dory and Crunches with Munches.

Different Salads Combination


Different Salads Combination

I personally like to choose my own salad and toppings. My top pick from the grill is Butter Seared Pacific Dory with parsley rub. It is tender and juicy , the portion of the dory is very generous, while the parsley rub helps to remove any fishy smell in the dory. The prawns are another seafood option, it is fresh and juicy, however I don't think the portion deliver a good value for money compare to fish.

Butter Seared Pacific Dory with parsley rub

Prawns with Garlic, Ben's Beef Rub & Teriyaki Chicken
For those who prefer chicken, you can have the selection of chicken breast or chicken thigh. For something sweet, try their maple infusion. For TexMex flair, go with the cajun chicken. I will personally choose the chicken thigh, as it is more juicy and tender.

Cajun Chicken
The major improvement that I like about The Lawn in Shenton Way is their coffee machine. They decided to get serious and invest a bit more on their coffee machine to accompany the beans from Smitten. The outcome is a consistent, smooth and creamy cup of coffee that won't disappoint you.

Latte

To end the meal, or if you want to have some to satisfy your sweet tooth, the cakes are from Gobi while their tiramisu is from The Tiramisu Hero. The chocolate cake and green tea get my thumbs up where both are light in texture with a nice balance in flavour.

Desserts

Tiramisu

The service is minimum. The order process goes like this, Chop your seat (Yes, we are very Singaporean), take your order sheet, tick your selections and go to the counter to pay. The food will then be delivered to you. Price starting at $8.90 for Olive Rice and $9.90 for Salad. For grill Chicken / vegetables +$3, Fish / Duck / Prawns +$4 and Beef +$5.

Overall, The Lawn has bring the “Meat Your Greens” concept for those health conscious people in Shenton Way. The price is not cheap, but it is reasonable. With the quality of the food here, I believe it will satisfy your cravings for good food and watching your figure at the same time. Cheers!!

Thanks to Jonathan and The Lawn team for the invitation. 

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: N/A
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 7/10

The Lawn @ Shenton Way
8 Shenton Way
#B1-11, AXA Tower
Singapore 068811

T: 6534 8749
OH: Weekday 10.30 – 21.00


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Charisma D'Venue Restaurant – Devine and Charming + Vouchers Give Away

Charisma D'Venue is a Halal semi-fine dining restaurant offering a unique gastronomic experience blending local South East Asia cuisine with western technique at an affordable price. Chef Fauzie is the Chef in charge of the innovative menu, with the ever popular Charisma Biryani (or Briyani)


Located opposite Kwan Im Temple in Joo Chiat, this place can be very catchy in the evening. The restaurant decided to use purple lighting and you can spot this place from far away. The decoration is simple, yet modern and sophiscated. Once you enter the restaurant, you can see at the end there is chairs displayed for Malay wedding function. Oh ya, did I mention that Charisma D'Venue can also cater to your special events, such as wedding.

The Decor
Wedding Stage
As catchy as the purple lighting is, it is the bane for photographer. It made the colour of my photos out of whack. In respect to other people dining in the restaurant, I always try to limit the use of flash as much as possible. Therefore, my apologies if the picture looks weird.

Since Biryani is the most popular this in this place, we ordered their famous Biryani Lamb Shank ($18.80). The generous size of lamb shank is well braised, tender and fall of the bone. The gravy is excellent, robust, rich in flavour and goes well with the rice. The rice is flavourful and al dente, without the overpowering spices that you normally find in Indian Biryani. The mango chutney is a good counter balance for the richness of lamb shank. Although the dish is served with dalcha, we find that is just not necessary. The gravy from the braised lamb is enough to bind the rice and the meat. Yummy!!

Biryani Lamb Shank

Another winner here is Charisma Calamari ($6.80). The fried calamari is crispy on the outside, and it is tender and juicy inside. The curried seasoning on the batter gave a distinct touch to the dish. The salad on the sides is fresh with a nice mango dressing. The yoghurt mint dipping sauce is unique, kind of Greek style, but if it is not that watery, the yoghurt sauce will complement it better.

Charisma Calamari 

While the above two dishes are a winner, the two other dishes that we tried can be improve. Pan Fried Seabass ($16.80) – served with baked potato, mango chutney in mango puree sauce. Firstly they did a good job with the skin, it is crispy, however when they put the mango chutney on top, it just messed up the whole thing. Some part of the skin became soggy, the onion in the chutney is too overpowering for a fish dish. It will be better to substitute the chutney with other vegetables, use more subtle sauce and don't put anything on top of that beautiful crispy fish skin.

Pan Fried Seabass

Charisma Grilled Chicken Wing ($7.90) – served with peanut sauce. Good concept, however failed in execution. Although the chicken wings are well seasoned, The wings and peanut sauce were burnt. When we gave feedback to the management, they made a new one for us to bring back. I applaud their service orientated commitment. During our dinner, the service has been good and efficient.

Charisma Grilled Chicken Wing

While the food can have its up and down, the mocktails here is a must tried. With the price ranging from $3 to $8.50 depending on ingredients, it sure is refreshing and flavourful. We tried Sunrise, Nojito (non alcoholic version of Mojito) and avocado smoothie. All get our thumbs up. Kudos to the mixologist.

Mixologist At Work

Sunrise Mocktails

Avocado Smoothie

Overall, Charisma D'Venue delivered on their promise on affordable price fusion food. With the combination of some winner dish and mocktails, this is a destination for everybody, especially our Muslim friends.

Voucher Give Away:
Our dinner here is partly subsidised by using the voucher provided to us. Chubbybotakkoala.com is giving away 4 vouchers to 4 readers, each value at $25 (to be used by 31st October 2013). If you want this voucher, just leave a simple comment below this review. Winner will be announced on Saturday, 14 September 2013. Organiser's decision is final.


Food & Drink: 7/10 (Biryani & Mocktails 8.5/10)
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10


Charisma D'venue Restaurant
37 Joo Chiat Place
Singapore 427761


Tel: 6346 4232
Website: http://www.charismadvenue.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharismaDvenue
Op Hours: Tue – Sun: 11.00 – 22.00


Friday, 6 September 2013

2am: Dessert Bar – Bye Bye Chocolate Cravings

2am:Dessert Bar is the brainchild of chef Janice Wong. A reputable chef in her own right, she has honed her skills under the tutelage of world renowned chef such as Thomas Keller from US. Awarded Asia's Best Pastry Chef at the prestigious San Pellegrino Asia Top 50 2103. In this establishment, expect your palate to be charmed and entertained by the creativity of chef Janice Wong and her team.


Located on the second floor of 21 Lorong Liput Holland Village, behind the Cold Storage, this is a place to satisfy your sweet tooth and sweet eyes.

Boasting a decoration like a bar, as mention in its name, this place definitely great to chill out. Once you reach the second floor, this place is divided into three section. The bar, the high tables and the couch. For couples, the connecting long couch with coffee tables is a good option if you come in pair. While high bench and chairs, is the perfect choice if you come in a group. If you prefer to see how the chefs in action up close, you can choose the bar. The lighting is very intimate, as you can see I am taking pictures without flash as not to disturb the atmosphere.

The Bar

The Menu

The Couple Seat

For something not too sweet, we recommend Hot Chocolate, served with homemade churros ($10). The chocolate drink is creamy with full bodied chocolate, together with the crispy churros, created a perfect chemistry in your mouth. I will recommend you to order extra churros ($4) to ensure you are fully satisfied. We just can't stop popping the little suckers into our mouth.

Hot Chocolate, served with homemade churros

Extra homemade churros

Shares of Green ($14), pistachio sponge, coco mousse, pandan gula melaka custard. This desserts is delightful to see, due to beautiful combination of green, white and brown. It tasted quite light and refreshing, with Asian flair. The different texture of each part of this deserts will definitely excite your palate.

Shades of Green

For chocolate lovers, Chicory Chocolate ($16) is recommended. Chocolate overload is the proper description of this dessert. Chicory suppose to provide the bitter / coffee like texture to the desserts. The biscotti texture like chocolate slice, with milk jam, vanilla ice cream and mix crumble is just difficult to resist. However, for those who can't tolerate rich chocolate such as myself, you might want to avoid this.

Chicory Chocolate

If you are into wine, the chef has pair each desserts item with the most suitable wine. And for those non-desserts person, there is a snack menu. All the menus are available on the establishment website if you want to check it out.

The chef in charge for the night actually went around and explain the menu to the customers. She gave us the details of each desserts, base on our preference. Although we can't understand more than half of the technical terms that she used, we really appreciate her effort. Kudos to her.

Overall, we were really impressed with the concept of 2am dessert bar. It is provide a wonderful desserts experience like none others. The price is very reasonable as final preparation for each desserts, such as the sauce and melted chocolate are done after they received the order. We look forward to comeback for more. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 9.5/10

2am: Dessert Bar

21a Lor Liput
Holland Village
Singapore

Tel: 6291 9727
Website: http://www.2amdessertbar.com/
Op Hours:
Mon – Sat: 18.00 – 02.00

Closed on Sunday