Sunday, 10 November 2019

Ikura – Fook Hai Outlet Menu Rejuvenation [MEDIA INVITE]

Negi Toro Don

Ikura is a Japanese Izakaya style dining that serves a variety of Japanese cuisine. The food served range from Sashimi, Sushi, Maki, Salad, Donburi, Chirashi, Ramen and many more. The complete list consists of more than 100 over items on the list.

Aburi Miso Maki 

Fook Hai outlet is the first outlet of Ikura Japanese. It first opens its door in 2017 and it has gathered regular loyal patrons over these past 2 years. Thus, it is time for this outlet to refresh its menu, we are honoured to be invited to have the first preview of their new menu.

We started our tasting with appetizer Gyoza ($11); Fugumirin ($11) – Sundried Puffer Fish; Tatami Iwashi ($10) – Dried Baby Sardines; and Wakasaki Karaage ($11) – Deep Fried Shishamo.

Gyoza

The gyoza has a crisp exterior, with juicy fillings. Fugumirin is exotic, but the flavour is on the salty side. My personal pick is the Wakasaki Karaage, which is crispy and bursting with flavour. It is perfectly fried and you can eat most of the part. All of the appetizer dishes will go nicely with sake or beer.  

Tatami Iwashi & Wakasaki Karaage

For sharing, Aburi Miso Maki ($17) and Unagi Maki ($17) are a good choice. A creative invention on both maki, the sushi rice seasoned just nice, while the fillings are generous. The sauces on both maki just elevate it to another level.

Aburi Miso Maki 

Unagi Maki

Buta Shogayaki ($13) – Stir Fried Sliced Pork Belly with Ginger. The pork belly is tender, juicy while the ginger aroma lingers at the back. It will go nicely with a bowl of white rice.

Buta Shogayaki 

Sakura Ebi Chahan ($11) – River Shrimps Fried Rice is a nice carbo dish to have. Each grain of rice is al-dente, with a good bite into it plus the “Wok Hei” aroma is strong. The mini river shrimps added a subtle umami flavour and crunchiness in this dish. One of the best dishes of the night.

Sakura Ebi Chahan

For a luxurious option, you can try Ikura’s Chirashi. We tried Negi Toro Don ($21) and Hokkaido Chirashi ($21). I personally like the Negi Toro (minced tuna). The tuna is chopped to almost smooth and velvety texture plus raw egg topping is more tempting compared to the sliced sashimi.

Negi Toro Don

Hokkaido Chirashi 

Udon comes in two versions, soup base or stir-fried. Beef Udon ($13) is the signature udon soup here. Meanwhile, Gyu Suji Yaki Udon ($16) is the stir-fried version. Surprising, my pick goes to the stir-fried version. The udon is firmer and bouncy, topped with delicate sweet sauce. It looks a bit oily, but it delivers in taste.

Beef Udon

Gyu Suji Yaki Udon

Shima Hokke Yaki ($19) – Grilled Arga Mackerel is a good value from money. The fillet is thick and the fattiness in the fish allowing the flesh to remain juicy and flaky over a long period.

Shima Hokke Yaki

For the ramen here, it is best to go with the stronger flavours like Black Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.80) and the spicy Mala Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.80). I did not try the mala ramen, but the black tonkotsu ramen has a generous sweet black garlic flavour in the broth.

Black Tonkotsu Ramen

Black Tonkotsu Ramen

Mala Tonkotsu Ramen 

Leave space for dessert, as the Japanese Tofu Cheese Cake ($7.80) is not to be missed. It is served cold, the tofu-like texture cheesecake is smooth and just melts in your mouth. The creamy cheese flavour is subtle, yet enough to tantalize your tastebuds. The base is dense yet crumble effortlessly when you bit into it. Yummy

Japanese Tofu Cheese Cake

Ikura at Fook Hai has three dining areas. Alfresco, indoor ground floor and indoor second floor. The ground floor seating is very tight, almost like dining in an izakaya in Japan. Good for 2 to 4 person seating. For bigger group and private functions, you will likely be seated on the second floor.

Overall, Ikura @ Fook Hai has an extensive menu and you will be able to find something that suits you. I recommend Aburi Miso Maki, Unagi Maki, Sakura Ebi Chahan and Japanese Tofu Cheese Cake. Cheers!!

Thank you Alvin for the invite and Ikura’s Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 6.5/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50,
  
Ikura @ Fook Hai
150 South Bridge Road
#01-14 Fook Hai Building
Singapore 058727

T: +65 6532 6656
IG: @Ikura_sg
OH:
Mon – Sat: 12.00 – 14.30; 17.30 – Midnight
Closed on Sunday.
Menu Available Online

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Amò – Amazing Pizza

Margherita DOP 

Amò is a concept by IlLido group, an F&B group known for its collection of unique and high-quality dining concepts. Most of IlLido concept is based on Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, paying homage to its owner, Italian restauranteur Beppe De Vito. Amò is a casual communal dining concept, focusing on antipasti, artisan pastas, homemade pizzas and large serving of mains.

Amò

A must try in Amò is their pizzas. According to their website, Amò pizza is made with natural leaven, semolina and extra virgin olive oil. They are light, seasonal and easy to digest - the result of patience, exceptional produce, and a fine-tuned knowledge of food chemistry.

Olives

In their ala-carte menu, their pizza is categorised into classic and signature. We started with the classic Margherita DOP ($25). Buffalo Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomato, Basil. The crust is soft with a slight charred and bitterness from the high heat oven. The buffalo mozzarella is soft and creamy, while the wetness from the tomato together with fresh basil just deliver amazing flavour in this dish. Delizioso!!

Margherita DOP

(Side Note: DOP is an abbreviation for the Italian phrase Denominazione di Origine Protetta -- "protected name of origin." If a product is labelled DOP, you can be sure that it has been produced, processed in a specific geographical zone and according to tradition.” – Quoted from different sources. In this case, the flour, cheese, tomato and herbs are from particular regions in Italy).

Margherita DOP

Broccolini, Pancetta, Pumpkin, Smoked Mozzarella ($28) is their signature pizza. My first time trying pumpkin pizza. The toppings are thick, using the pumpkin puree as the base instead of tomato. It has a nice smoky aroma from the smoked mozzarella, followed with nice salty and porky flavour from the pancetta. A good combination between sweet and savoury.

Broccolini, Pancetta, Pumpkin, Smoked Mozzarella 

Pork Sausage, Caramelised Onions, Potatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella ($29). Another first time for me eating a pizza with potatoes in it. The pork sausage is savoury, the opposite of the sweet caramelised onions. The buffalo mozzarella adds the creaminess but looks a bit lost in between the potatoes. Tasted like eating bread dipped in potato soup. It will probably taste better if there are more pork sausages.

Pork Sausage, Caramelised Onions, Potatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella

Pork Sausage, Caramelised Onions, Potatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella

Iberico Pork Chop with Spicy Broccolini and Celeriac Puree ($32). The pork chop is nicely grilled, tender with a good oink oink bite in it. However, we notice that some area of the pork is a bit dry. The celeriac puree is smooth, while the spicy broccolini added a bit of spark to this dish.

Iberico Pork Chop with Spicy Broccolini and Celeriac Puree

For the sides, we ordered Roasted Mushrooms with Egg Confit ($12) & Hand Cut Fries with Rosemary ($12). Both of these side dishes are awesome. The roasted mushrooms are butter and packs with solid mushrooms flavour. The velvety egg confit adds a silky and creamy texture to the dish.

Roasted Mushrooms with Egg Confit

The rosemary fries are awesome. It is crispy externally and moist internally. The rosemary herbs are generously sprinkled on the fries, as the aroma of it linger with each bite of the fries. It is served with truffle mayo to add the creaminess and umami flavour to the fries. I personally like the fries without the mayo dip.

Hand Cut Fries with Rosemary 

From the Bar, I had Ups Daisy ($12). A lemonade base mocktails that is citrusy and refreshing.

Ups Daisy

At the end of the meal, we were served complimentary Cioffe / Frappe. Crispy fried pasta with icing sugar.

Cioffe / Frappe

The décor is casual and modern. You will be welcome by the bar when you first enter the restaurant, leading to the main indoor dining area. There is also al-fresco seating at the courtyard. For those seated near the middle or back, you can get a glimpse of the kitchen and chefs at work. Service is attentive, professional and knowledgeable. During the weekend, there is a limited seating time, so be understanding if you are dining on the early time slot.

The Bar

Part of Dining Area

Overall, Amò served one of the best Margherita DOP. For the next visit, I will definitely order the classic pizzas, Roasted Mushrooms with Egg Confit, Hand Cut Fries with Rosemary, then followed with the pasta and other dishes. Saluti!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 8.75/10
Ambiance: 8.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50,

Amò
33 Hongkong Street
Singapore 059672

T: +65 6723 7733
IG: @Amorestaurantsg
OH: 12.00 – 14.30; 18.00 – 23.00 Daily


Monday, 4 November 2019

FrapasBar – French Tapas Concept by Saveur [MEDIA INVITE]

Crispy Pork Belly

FrapasBar by Saveur is the latest concept by the passionate and talented people in Saveur. FrapasBar is a combination of French Cuisine with Tapas style of presentation.

FrapasBar

Located in now-defunct Concetto, the Italian concept by Saveur; the group next concept is following the current market trend of pairing small bites with drinks. As the group strength in French cuisine, it is just natural that French style Tapas is the direction they are heading plus showcasing their forte.

Part of Bar & Dining Area

Not an alcohol drinker, I decided to order Frizzy Lemonade ($8). Citrusy, ice-cold and refreshing. Good as thirst cruncher for Singapore hot weather. 

Frizzy Lemonade

We started with Mussels & Cream ($12). Mussels cooked with white wine, cream, shallots and parsley. Creamy and fragrant broth to go with the juicy mussels’ flesh. It is best to squeeze the lemon into the dish as it helps to cuts through the richness of the sauce. As this dish does not come with bread, I suggest you order garlic bread ($3) to polish the sauce.

Mussels & Cream

Crispy Pork Belly ($15). One of the signature dishes in Saveur and I am glad that they bring it over to FrapasBar and revolutionise it.  Served with orange mustard puree, pickled daikon and balsamic baby onion.

The pork is juicy, succulent and almost melts in your mouth. While the skin is crispy and crumbly, almost like the Cantonese version of crispy roast pork. The mustard puree instead of the regular Dijon mustard elevates the presentation and flavour in this dish. While the tangy pickled daikon and balsamic baby onion gave this dish the OMPH factor and cuts through the "jelakness" of the pork. Yum yum.

Crispy Pork Belly

Seafood Bouillabaisse ($16). Mussel, prawn, seabass, squid, fennel, potato. A very robust soup base, filled with bold seafood essence. The medley of seafood provides different texture and flavours, while, the charred garlic bread has a nice smoky aroma and good to absorb the soup.

Seafood Bouillabaisse

Stuffed Squid ($18) with French Onion Rice. Though the presentation looks awesome, the texture of the squid let us down. It is a bit rubbery, even the fragrant French Orion rice unable to help in saving this dish. Will skip this dish next time around.

Stuffed Squid

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks ($18). The super WOW dish at FrapasBar. The beef cheek is so tender, you can pick it apart with your fork. The braising jus and seasoning well infused into the beef, as you can taste them while it melts in your mouth. Serving this dish with smooth velvety mash potatoes is just so comforting, while the picked red Bombay onion helps balance the richness of this dish. Yum Yum.

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks
Hand Model 
Tiara_Star 

We manage to leave some space for Sticky Date & Pecan Pudding ($10). Crispy externally, followed with a sweet sticky texture internally. The ice cream is generous and the creaminess goes well with the pudding. A must-order for those who enjoy sweet desserts.

Sticky Date & Pecan Pudding
Hand Model 
Tiara_Star 

The restaurant setting is modern and casual. Surrounded with floor to ceiling glasses, it maximises the use of natural daylight during the day. Good place to take photos.

Part of the Dining Area

Overall, the food in FrapasBar is on par with those served in Saveur. My personal picks are Crispy Pork Belly, Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks and Seafood Bouillabaisse. I look forward to returning to this place to try other dishes. Cheers!!

Thank you Msginginly for jioing and Tiara_Star for sharing the calories.

Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50,

FrapasBar by Saveur
2 Handy Road
#01-11/12, The Cathay
Singapore 229233

T: +65 6735 1141
IG: @Frapasbar
OH:
Sun – Thu: 12.00 – 01.00
Fri & Sat: 12.00 – 02.00
Food Last Order 21.30
Menu available Online



Sunday, 3 November 2019

Roots Mediterranean – Simplicity at Its Best [MEDIA INVITE]

Burrata E "Datterini"

Roots Mediterranean opens its door to the public in August 2019 at Greenwood Avenue. The Roots experience offers an epicurean journey which starts from the origin, the roots of the Mediterranean culinary culture. Roots Mediterranean (“RM”) provides the quality and experience of an Italian “Osteria”, a Greek “Ouzeri” and a Spanish “Tasca”.

Roots Mediterranean

RM tagline belief that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, the culinary concept is simple and elegant. Using only fresh, premium ingredients and original recipes, delivering a hearty and flavourful dish to the diners.

Roots Mediterranean

Outdoor facing Bar

Dinner at RM normally starts with a basket of bread. Consist of different type of bread including sourdough, grissini, flatbread and others. The bread is served with olive oil dip. Following it, we have a feast on entrée and small bites.

Basket of Bread

Burrata E "Datterini" (S$24) - Imported Burrata with cherry tomatoes, capers and olives. The burrata is firm and creamy, but not the oozing type. The cherry tomatoes provided a sweet and savoury burst of flavour, while the capers and olives add the mini twist to the dish. One of our favourite starters in any Italian restaurants.

Burrata E "Datterini"

Dips are the heart of starters in Mediterranean cuisine. We had Tzatziki ($8) - The most loved Greek dip, Yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and extra virgin olive oil; Tirokafteri ($10) - A spicy and cheesy dip. A spread with yoghurt, feta cheese and chilli; Hummus (S$8) - The most iconic Middle Eastern dip: chickpeas cream with sesame paste; and Melinzano Salata ($8) - Roasted eggplant dip with lemon, extra virgin olive oil and parsley. 

Dips from Top Tirokafteri, Hummus, Tzatziki & Melinzano Salata
Hand Model: The Food Chapter

Tzatziki and Hummus are two of the most common dips found in Mediterranean cuisine. Surprisingly, the roasted eggplant catches my attention here. I normally avoid eggplant because of its sticky and mushy texture, however, the Melinzano Salata was tasty, bursting with flavour and nicely complemented the crispy bread.

Dips from Bottom Tirokafteri, Hummus, Tzatziki & Melinzano Salata

Tortillas de Papas Y Queso Fundido ($8). Spanish Omelette which includes potatoes and melted cheese is just irresistible. Although it can be eaten on its own, I like it as a dip or topping for the bread.

Tortillas de Papas Y Queso Fundido

Spanako Tiropita ($8). Greek Entrée. A crispy phyllo dough pie with spinach and feta cheese. Crisp exterior followed with creamy spinach blend with slightly salty feta cheese.

Spanako Tiropita 

Gambas Ajillo (S$15) - Sauté prawns with smoked paprika, fried garlic and parsley. The version here is on the dry side compared to some that I tried before. The prawn is crunchy, pack with a bit for fiery flavour from the paprika. Missing from the dish is the flavourful olive oil at the bottom to dip the bread with.

Gambas Ajillo 

Croquettas de Jamon Y Queso ($8). Very tasty and delicious croquette. The exterior is crispy, followed with cheesy and salty fillings.

Croquettas de Jamon Y Queso 

Next up are the heart of Italian dishes, pasta. Spaghetti Carbonara ($20). Al-dente spaghetti, coated with delicious strong creamy pecorino cheese. The flavour of the bacon-infused well into the dish; you can taste it in each bite of pasta.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Tortelli with Ricotta Spinach ($20) and Tortelli Crab Lobster ($24). The Italian version of dumpling. Both dumplings are bursting with flavour. The ricotta spinach fillings with tomato sauce have a nice balance between creaminess with the tangy tomato sauce.

Tortelli with Ricotta Spinach

Meanwhile, the crab and lobster tortelli are filled with natural sweetness from the crab and bouncy texture from the lobster. The butter and sage sauce accentuates the crab and lobster flavours and we can’t stop scooping it into our mouth.

Tortelli Crab Lobster

Lunette Truffle ($24). Lunette is round shape pasta filled with four types of delicious cheese, topped with black truffle sauce. Kind of reminds me of quattro formaggi pizza, instead, it is in pasta form and topped with the exquisite black truffle. Not for everyone, but a must-have for a cheese lover.

Lunette Truffle 

The intermission between the pasta and pizza is Paidakia ($35). Greek style Lamb Chop. The lamb is tender, succulent lightly marinated with oregano, garlic and lemon. Unlike most lamb chop, the is almost no gaminess in this lamb. It is served with grilled vegetables, mixed salad and tzatziki sauce.

Paidakia

Finally, we meet the star dish of the restaurant. Roots are famed for “pizza in teglia alla romana”, a special pizza which is rectangular and extremely trendy in Italy at the moment. The dough is slightly thicker, but it is extremely light, airy, crispy due to high hydration with a long fermentation time of 48 hours. The pizza comes in different sizes, namely 25cm, 50cm and 1 metre.



Roots' famous “pizza in teglia alla romana”

We tried 4 different flavours in the 1-metre plank pizza: Parma and Burrata, Sausage, Salami and Truffle, and Prawn Arrabbiata. The price for each one is 25cm - $18, 50cm - $26 & 1 metre - $50). I like the Parma and Burrata plus the sausage and for LD, she loved the spicy kick from the prawn arrabbiata. The pizza dough is so light, I still manage to try the four different flavour of the pizza. It tasted like fresh-baked ciabatta bread.

Parma and Burrata

Sausage

Salami and Truffle

Prawn Arrabbiata

Due to no alcohol for me and no coffee for LD, we swap out desserts a bit. I tried Frozen Pistachio Profiteroles, Hot Chocolate and Cherries; Tiramisu; and Crème Catalana. All of them are delicious, however, our taste buds are a bit numb due to the savoury food that we had earlier.

Desserts Platter

Desserts Platter

The décor of the restaurant is simple, almost like dining in the traditional dining room of an Italian home or Spanish home. The atmosphere is very much family orientated and lively. It seems that everyone is enjoying themselves including the kids as well.

Part of the Dining Area

Part of the Dining Area, The Kitchen Pass and Entrance to the Shop

Overall, dining in Roots Mediterranean is like having a gastronomic culinary exhibition in Italy, Greek and Spain. The food is based on fresh and premium ingredients cooked using traditional recipe. My personal pick is their pasta (spaghetti and tortelli), pizza in teglia alla romana, and anything with burrata. For awesome Mediterranean food, visit Roots. Saluti! Salud! Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Jennifer and Roots Mediterranean team for hosting us.

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

Roots Mediterranean
2 Greenwood Avenue
Singapore 289189

T: +65 6463 4206
IG: @Rootsmediterranean
OH:
11.00 – 23.00 Daily
Sunday Brunch: 11.00 – 16.00

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