Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Nest – Nordic Inspired Christmas Dinner [MEDIA INVITE]

Roasted Turkey Scallop with Chestnut Apricot Stuffing at The Nest

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2019 within the grounds of acclaimed Laguna National Golf & Country Club Singapore. The Nest, a casual dining restaurant in Laguna National provide us with the preview on what to expect once the hotel is open.

The Nest
Part of the Dining Area

Part of the Dining Area

The Nest which open to the public on weekdays and by advanced reservations only for the weekend has launched their Festive Menu for this Year, available from 19 November 2018 to 6 January 2019.

The View from The Nest Balcony

We have the privilege to try out their Christmas Set Dinner Menu ($68++ per person, 4 course) available from 19 November to 27 December 2018. When I was writing this review, I realised that this menu curated based on Nordic Christmas traditions, dishes that are celebrated with by the Scandinavians during Christmas seasons.  

Table Setting for Christmas Set Lunch and Dinner

The Setting

We started with Glogg Wine with Warm Christmas Bread and Dippers. Glogg wine is a traditional festive season drink from Sweden. It is fruity, warm with a touch of spiciness perfect to warm up your body during the chilly winter. A good welcome drink.

Glogg Wine
  
For the starter bread, I opted for a slice of soft pumpkin bread and traditional sourdough. Served with roasted red pepper dip and balsamic vinegar with olive oil. We were also served garlic bread, that is crispy and generous spread with butter and garlic.

Soft Pumpkin Bread and Traditional Sourdough

Garlic Bread

Gravlax Salmon, Pickled Quail’s Eggs and Dill Potatoes (sharing). A gorgeous cured salmon, smooth and delicious, nicely paired with pickled quail’s eggs and dill potatoes patties. The fresh salad provided a nice balance to the dish, while salmon roe and cheery roman tomatoes gave the instant burst of flavour in the dish. A very “Merry Christmas” dish from Sweden.

Gravlax Salmon, Pickled Quail’s Eggs and Dill Potatoes (sharing)

Next up is the Cream of Forest Soup, plated in a bread bowl. The soup is thick, creamy and packs the vegetable flavour. The top opening part of the bread bowl is toasted to create contrasting texture for this dish. Soup in a bread bowl is definitely yummy, but I find it a bit waste to serve it in a four-course meal as most of the bread will go to waste.

Cream of Forest Soup

For the main, there are two choices: Roasted Turkey Scallop with Chestnut Apricot Stuffing or Sautéed Atlantic Salmon with Burnt Cucumber, Braised Fennel and Saffron Potatoes.

Only turkey breast is used for this beautifully plated dish. It is nicely roasted as the meat remain juicy and succulent. The stuffing is not empowering, and I like the crunchy cracker they have in the middle. For the sides, there is asparagus wrapped with bacon and brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon. Both vegetables are crunchy infused with bacon flavour.

Roasted Turkey Scallop with Chestnut Apricot Stuffing

Sautéed Atlantic Salmon with Burnt Cucumber, Braised Fennel and Saffron Potatoes is a good option for seafood lovers. A little bit un-Christmassy dish previously, however, it is getting more popular and served during Christmas nowadays.

Sautéed Atlantic Salmon with Burnt Cucumber, Braised Fennel and Saffron Potatoes

Candied Potato baked with marshmallow is served as side dishes together with the main meal. Apparently, this is one traditional Christmas dish served in Nordic countries during this festive period. It is very sweet, so a little too strong for me.

Candied Potato baked with marshmallow

For the desserts, you can choose the Scandinavian option of Christmas Rice Pudding with Almonds, or go with the British way of Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce. Both desserts are as authentic as you can get and bold in flavours. Don’t be surprised if you get a little high after consuming the Christmas pudding generously bask in Brandy.

Christmas Rice Pudding with Almonds

Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce

Coffee or Tea also served with the desserts together with Christmas Petit Fours.

Tea with Petit Fours

Before the dessert, we were served the Roasted Rack of Lamb ($108.80) from the Festive Takeaway menu. It is as perfect as it comes. Pink in the middle, juicy and succulent and without any gamy flavour.

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Dining at The Nest comes with a spectacular view as it overlooking the Master’s course. The rustic feel to the restaurant together with high ceiling and walls decorated with painting and pictures of legendary golfers, that will make golfers right at home.

Outdoor Seating

Part of the Dining Area

Overall, it was indeed a memorable dining experience. It is the first time that I tried the Nordic Christmas Dinner Flavours and I definitely recommend this to those who want to experience a unique Christmas celebration this year. Cheers!!

Festive Feast
When: 19 November to 27 December 2018 (Christmas)
            28 December 2018 to 6 January 2019 (New Year’s Day)
Price:
3 Course Christmas Set Lunch - $48++ per person
4 Course Christmas Set Dinner - $68++ per person
5 Course Christmas Set Dinner - $88++ per person

Christmas Set Lunch / Dinner Menu

3 Course New Year Set Lunch - $45++ per person
4 Course New Year Set Dinner - $75++ per person
For Reservation: Call +65 6248 1711, or email thenest@lagunanational.com
*For the group booking of 60 pax and above, please check out the menu at the end.

New Year Set Lunch & Dinner Menu

Festive Takeaways
When: 21 November to 25 December 2018
Advanced booking of 4 working days is required
For Reservation: Call +65 6248 1711, or email thenest@lagunanational.com

Festive Takeaway Menu

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: 8.5 / 10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and above.

The Nest
11 Laguna Golf Green
Laguna National
Singapore 488047

T: +65 6248 1711
OH:
Mon – Fri: 07.00 – 22.00 (Open to Public)
Sat & Sun: 07.00 – 22.00 (Advanced Reservation Needed)



Christmas Market Buffet Lunch and Dinner Menu for 60 pax

New Year Gala Dinner Buffet Menu for 60 pax

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Shabestan – Persian Green Month [MEDIA INVITE]

Sabzi Kebab @ Shabestan 

Shabestan is an authentic Persian restaurant located in Singapore riverfront district, Robertson Quay. Helmed by Executive Chef Hamid Hosseini, Shabestan served authentic Persian cuisine that combines premium halal lamb, beef, chicken, fish with Persian’s finest ingredients like saffron, olive oil, pomegranates, prunes, raisins and nuts.

Shabestan

To celebrate World Vegan Month, Shabestan launched a new vegetarian and vegan menu as part of its Persian Green Month. This special menu offers healthy, plant-based dishes for vegetarians and health-conscious diners. It is available until 15 December 2018.  

We started the tasting with Appetiser Platter ($35). Consist of Hummus, Homemade Cheese, Muhammara, Kashk-E-Bademjan, and Borani Esfanaaj; Served with Persian Bread ($3).

Appetiser Platter. From Left: Borani Esfanaaj, Kashk-E-Bademjan, Muhammara, Homemade Cheese and Hummus

The Persian Bread is just awesome. It is crisp, light, fragrant with a slight chewiness in it bodes well with all the appetizer. I like the homemade cheese (creamy with a touch of twang), Muhammara (bursting with flavour from roasted bell peppers and crunchy pomegranate) and Borani Esfanaaj (an aromatic mixture of fried onions and spinach) as they suit my palate.

Persian Bread

Shirazi Salad ($12), a combination of freshly chopped cucumber, tomatoes, onion and house dressing. It is crunchy, juicy and refreshing. The acidity in the house dressing is very strong, and it helps to open up your appetite. It is also good to consume with your main meal, as the acidity helps to balance any overwhelming flavour from the main meals.

Shirazi Salad

Dolma ($9), a stuffed mixture of rice, split yellow peas, savoury herbs used as a filling, wrapped with grapevine layers. Persian version of rice dumpling tasted like rice and peas wrapped in cassava leaves. Good for small bites, a prelude to the main meal.

Dolma

Dolma

Mirza Ghasemi With Egg ($25) - Northern Iranian grilled eggplant with garlic, tomatoes and spices. It also comes without Egg for Vegan. The eggplant is grilled and cooked until soft, infused with garlic, tomato and spices. The garlic flavour is very strong here, however, the sweetness from the fried onion and tomatoes really perk up this dish. I personally like to have it with Persian bread.

Mirza Ghasemi With Egg

Ghormeh Sabzi Vegetarian ($29) - A savoury medley of fresh herbs, cottage cheese cooked with red beans, sun-dried lime and fresh vegetables in Persian spices. It reminds me of Palak Paneer, the spinach and feta cheese in Indian cuisine. However, the version here is different, it is cooked for close to 4 hours, allowing it to extract the essence of the herbs. The cheese added a chewy texture and umami flavour to the dish. For me, it is definitely a “rice thief” dish.

Ghormeh Sabzi Vegetarian

Assorted Rice ($10 each), Baghala Polo (rice, lima beans & fresh dill); Zereshk Polo (wild barberries, fresh pomegranate and saffron flavoured basmati rice); Javaher Polo (basmati rice mixed with Persian nuts, berries & sun-dried orange peel).

Javaher Polo (Left); Zereshk Polo (Top); Baghala Polo (Right).

I like the Bagholo Polo as suitable to go with the savoury or main dishes, while the Zereshk Polo and Javaher Polo are more like a rice salad, due to the sweetness and nutty ingredients in the rice.

Sabzi Kebab ($25), served with Basmati Rice and Bagholo Polo. Chef's recipe charcoal grilled vegetarian kebab with seasonal fresh vegetables & homemade cottage cheese. The grilled vegetables are aromatic and nicely charred. The homemade cottage cheese is springy and delicious.

Sabzi Kebab

Dessert is Persian Saffron Ice Cream ($8). It is homemade with pistachio, cream and saffron. Not a straightforward pistachio ice cream, I feel the combination of cream and saffron are too strong for my liking.

Persian Saffron Ice Cream

Persian is known for their tea. I manage to try Persian Tea, served with saffron sugar. Fruity and aromatic tea, infused with mint leaves. The saffron sugar adds a touch of class in the tea.

Persian Tea with Saffron Sugar

True to its identity, Shabestan restaurant décor exudes Persian characters in each corner. You can be forgiven if you think you are dining in Persia instead of Singapore.

Part of Dining Area

Overall, the dishes in Shabestan have its own unique characteristic. Although some dishes might look similar to other Mediterranean restaurants, it definitely has a distinct taste. Don’t miss out on Persian Green Month at Shabestan. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Shabestan’s Team and Catherine Ong’s Team for the tasting invitation.


Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: 8.5 / 10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25, $26, $50

Shabestan
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
The Pier @ Robertson
#01-13. Singapore 239013

T: +65 6836 1270
IG: @Shabestan.sg
OH:
Sun – Thu: 12.00 – Midnight (LO 23.00)
Fri, Sat and Eve PH: 12.00 – Midnight (LO 23.30)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Roast – Fatty Char Siew Oink Oink [MEDIA INVITE]

Char Siew at Roast

Roast, a Cantonese Style Roast stall just opened in Telok Blangah neighbourhood. The head chef, hailed from Ipoh, has been churning out Cantonese style roast that is consistent and delicious for ages.

Roast

Roast

Price List

Without a doubt, the Char Siew is their signature there. Using only fatty part of the pork, you can see the mouth-watering perfect layers between the meat and fats. The outer part is nicely caramelised, with a crispy bite and follow with a melt in your mouth sensation with each bite. The style here is glossy, caramelised with a bit charred, instead of the dark like charcoal version.

The Char Siew

Char Siew - Up Close

Next best item is their roast duck. It is nicely roasted, where the fats between the skin and meat are rendered to almost non-existence. Resulting in a juicy and succulent duck meat. The skin remains crisp, making the roast duck so enticing to devour. 

Roast Duck

Next is their Crispy Roast Pork. The pork belly is fattier compared to the char siew. When you bite into it, you can hear the crunchiness of the pork crackling, followed by the bursting oil and juice from the fats and flesh. #Porkgasm

Crispy Roast Pork

If you prefer something unique, try their pork ribs. It is leaner compared to the char siew, and it packs more flavour due to the bones. The external part is crispy, while the flesh is succulent with a meaty bite to it. 

The Pork Ribs on top

The Pork Ribs - Up Close

We tried their roast chicken; however, it was kind of a let down after the Char Siew, Roast Duck and Crispy Roast Pork. The meat of the chicken too soft, almost mushy like. They do have the white chicken, which I think will go well with their homemade soya sauce infused with ginger.

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

To go with the roast meat, you can have white rice or noodle. I recommend the noodle, as it is springy, crunchy and absent of any alkaline taste. LD feels that the chilli here needs a bit more kick, as it slightly lacks a bit of tanginess and spiciness.

The Spread

The Noodle

Overall, Roast is definitely a good place to visit for your Cantonese Roast Meat fix. The Char Siew is excellent, while the roast duck and roast pork will definitely satisfy you. Warning, Roast is not the place for those that like their meat lean and healthy. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to the Roast team for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: N/A (Coffee Shop)
Budget per Person: $0 - $10, $11 - $25

Roast
Blk 46 Telok Blangah Drive
(Lao Zi Hao Kopitiam)
Singapore S100046

T: +65 9662 9772
IG: @Roastsg_tbd46
OH: 10.30 – 20.30 Daily


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