Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Quarters - The Quarters Experience [MEDIA INVITE]

Fwah @ The Quarters

My first encounter with The Quarters and Chef Chung Deming was in 2015. Four years on, we are back at The Quarters for the newly launched The Quarters Experience. For $60++ you will experience Multi-Sensory Dining, locally inspired with Straits and International ingredients.

The Quarters

Salted Egg Tebasaki. Inspired by Japanese Yakitori style of cooking chicken wings. Only mid wing is used, slowly grilled until it reaches a crispy exterior, topped with The Quarters Signature Salted Egg Aioli. It has a nice charred flavour to it followed by a slightly pungent aroma and flavour of the Aioli.

Salted Egg Tebasaki

Chawanmushi – Chincalok infused Steamed Egg with Ikura. The texture of the steamed egg is slightly dense. The chincalok flavour is delicate, easily overpowered by the ikura. It is better to eat it separately so you can taste each of the distinct flavours. Then you can decide if you want to mix all of them or not. Personally, I would like the chincalok flavour to be slightly stronger though.

Chawanmushi

Ooh La La! Signature Chilli Crab Sauce with Venus Clams and Croutons. An interesting combination of sweet and chewy venus clam flesh with the super OMPH Chilli Crab sauce. Surprisingly, the clams’ flavour is not overpowered by the sauce. The crunchy croutons add a nice crunchy texture when you slurp the sauce. Yum yum.

Ooh La La!

Ooh La La!

Fwah! – Foie Gras on Kaya Toast with Scrambled Egg. Chef Deming local interpretation of foie grass with eggs benedict. It is creamy, velvety and the foie paired nicely with kaya and toast. The only complain that I have is that I wish the portion is bigger.

Fwah

Rendang – Wagyu Beef Cubes with Heirloom Rendang sauce and Buah Keluak Fried Rice. The wagyu beef cubes are seared to medium rare; you can taste a solid charred aroma followed with the juiciness of the of beef. It is paired with solid buah keluak infused fried rice. I like the homemade rendang sauce, as the rempah really stands out. I suggest that you combine all the three ingredients together and eat it. It is just heavenly.

Rendang

Duriancanboleh, I choose Passion Fruit Crème Brulee instead of the durian. The sugar crust on top is thick and generous. The crème is rich, smooth with a passion fruit tanginess to balance the richness. It feels like something lighter compare to Durian crème brulee.

Duriancanboleh

Passion Fruit Crème Brulee 

Overall, it is interesting to see Chef Deming take us through this multi-sensory gastronomic journey. He slowly builds up the locally inspired flavour using ingredients that we are familiar with but produced different taste by varying the intensity level. The Ooh La La, Fwah and Rendang have a strong and bold flavour that we truly enjoy

The Quarters Experience
Price: $60++
Booking conditions: Between 2 to 20 pax per seating. Reserve 2 days in advance.
For Reservations: Call 6834 4174 or email: info@thequarters.sg

“Real Nasi Lemak Burger”

During this tasting, we also taste other items, such as “Real Nasi Lemak Burger” ($15). Consist of Nasi Lemak Bun (like Mos Burger Buns); 2 deep fried chicken thighs coated with turmeric batter; Homemade sambal to combine the 2 chicken patties; Perfectly fried sunny side up egg with oozing yolk; and Ikan Bilis as fries on the side with shaved cucumber and chilli as salad plus garnish. This is the closest burger you can to the real nasi lemak. A creative creation by Chef Chung Deming and his team. Yum Yum.

“Real Nasi Lemak Burger” - the Patties

Shiok Bak ($14) - Crispy Pork Belly with Assam Curry Sauce. It sure has the shiokness of crispy pork belly. Crispy exterior, especially the skin, with juicy and succulent flesh internally. The ginger and five spice are added into the assam curry sauce that pairs nicely with the pork belly.

Shiok Bak

Wagyu Beef Buah Keluak Pasta ($24) – Wagyu Beef and Buah Keluak Cream. Al-dente pasta tossed with solid buah keluak paste. A modern way to enjoy the “Asian Truffle”. The beef is succulent; however, I find the pasta is already nice on its own. Yum Yum.

Wagyu Beef Buah Keluak Pasta 

Thank you very much to Ivan Teh RunningMan and Chef Chung Deming for hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Event)
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50; $51 - $80

The Quarters
16 Enggor Street
#01-09 Icon Village
Singapore 079717

T: +65 6834 4174
IG: @Thequarterssg
OH:
Mon: 10.00 – 16.00
Tue – Sat: 10.00 – 22.00
Closed on Sunday
Menu is available online

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Rookery – Good Food Great Company [MEDIA INVITE]

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Rookery is a café by day and gastropub by night located in Singapore CBD. Rookery was founded by 3 individuals Daniel, Michelle and Sue-shan, who loved food, coffee and to drink. Inspired by the Australian and American casual dining culture, Rookery presents a unique dining experience with an emphasis on the raw rustic nature of our locally sourced ingredients.

Rookery - Capital Tower

Rookery recently refreshes their Brunch and Lunch/Dinner menu and we have the opportunity to taste it first-hand at their Capital Tower outlet. All the items below are available from 11.30 onwards, except for smashed avocado toast.

The Bar

We start with Smashed Avocado Toast ($15), available from 8 AM. This superfood is one of the must-have on every café’s menu. The combination of rich creamy avocado, crispy and chewy and oozing egg yolks is just so appetizing. The furikake add some sparks to this creamy mix

Smashed Avocado Toast

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa ($17). An example of a vegetarian dish that can be tasty. Cauliflower, cucumbers, baby radish, cherry tomatoes and pomegranate bind together with sesame dressing. You have crunchy and juicy texture from all the vegetable mix and I especially like the contrasting salty and chewy texture from the halloumi in this dish.

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa

Fried Chicken Sandwich ($21), a deluxe sandwich for meat lovers. The combination of juicy fried chicken with homemade glazed bacon chop is just badass. Lettuce, tomato, gouda cheese and honey mustard mayo complete the sandwich fillings. Instead of using regular white bread, Rookery uses the sourdough bread that are able to hold the ingredients together and not making a mess. Yum Yum.

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Scallops ($22) a must try item on this new menu. Juicy, sweet and plump seared Hokkaido Scallops cooked with seaweed and miso butter. The top part of the dish might turn you off because it looks oily, however, it is actually clarified butter. The bottom part is where the good stuff are. You can taste the rich, creamy and umami flavour of the seaweed and miso butter. The lemon supposed to help in balancing the richness in the dish, however, it also gives this dish a different flavour. It was so good; we used up all the toast plus the toast from other dishes to polished up the butter.  Definitely, a dish that I will return for.

Scallops

If you prefer prawns instead of scallops try their Gambas al Ajillo ($18). Butterflied tiger prawns cooked with garlic and chilli oil. The moist and tasty prawns, together with the flavoured oil goes nicely with the toast. I still like the scallops though.

Gambas al Ajillo

Grilled Mackerel ($24), a well-grilled mackerel fillets served with potatoes, garlic and tomatoes white wine stew. The tangy flavour stew nicely balances the strong flavour of the mackerel.

Grilled Mackerel

Sakura Ebi Capellini ($14). A dish that getting popular in Singapore dining scene. The key here is to find the right balance of each flavour. I like the crunchiness of the sakura ebi and flavour of the truffle oil. However, the pasta is slightly undercooked and the saltiness level is on the high side. A bit of tweaking will make this dish much better and value for money.

Sakura Ebi Capellini 

Crabmeat Pasta ($24). Another winning dish here. The al-dente tagliatelle carries the tomato cream sauce nicely. I was worried that the strong creamy sauce will cover the taste of the crab, instead, I can still taste the sweetness of blue swimmer crab meat in each bite. Yummy.

Crabmeat Pasta

US Kurobuta Bone-In Pork Chop ($29). Nicely seared with good crisp externally, while the meat remains juicy and succulent internally. Served with curly fries and mesclun salad, it is simple yet delightful. Oink Oink.

US Kurobuta Bone-In Pork Chop

Meatballs ($17). This dish reminds me of spaghetti meatballs, except this one come with toast instead of pasta. The beef meatballs are well seasoned, cooked in tomato sauce and finished off with loads of cheese and baked. Expect a bold flavour from the tomato sauce and the cheese, best eaten together with the toast.

Meatballs

We were almost full from all the previous dishes, however, we manage to leave some space for Dark Chocolate Lava Cake ($14). We were slightly disappointed to find that the lava was not oozing out when we cut the chocolate cake. However, the solid dark chocolate flavour mixed with French Vanilla Bean Gelato and mixed berry compote sure make up for the aesthetic disappointment. A comforting dessert anytime.

Dark Chocolate Lava Cake

As Rookery turns into gastropub by night, you have to expect loud and energetic music played. It is best to keep your conversation in the small group. The décor casual with an industrial touch to it. Rookery offered indoor and outdoor seating, depends on your liking. There will be Live music on Thursday and Friday night at Capital Tower Outlet.

Liveband on Thursday and Friday Night

Overall, Rookery is a casual modern all-day dining destination in CBD. Café during the day and gastropub to chill out after work. The food is modern and creative and you can easily find something that you like here. I recommend their Scallops, Fried Chicken Sandwich (or something with their homemade glazed bacon chop) and Crabmeat Pasta. Cheers!!

Mojito (not mine)

Thank you very much, Kris(Msginginly) and Rookery Team for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25, $26 - $50

Rookery (Capital Tower)
168 Robinson Road
#01-08 Capital Tower
Singapore 068912

T: +65 6327 9369
IG: @Rookerysg
OH:
Mon – Fri: 08.00 – 23.00
Closed on Sat, Sun and PH

Other Branch
Rookery (Hong Leong Building)
16 Raffles Quay
#01-02A Hong Leong Building
Singapore 048581
T: +65 6221 0968

Menu and Reservation available from the website

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Kai Yakitori – Ultimate Grill Chicken Experience

Toriwasa Shoyu

It started with an Instagram post from Sandrasim about yakitori & Justinfoodprints on chicken sashimi in Singapore. It seems that they rate this place highly, therefore I bookmarked the location for future reference. Out of sudden LD has a craving for yakitori / izakaya, so we decided to visit Kai Yakitori.

Kai Yakitori (‘Kai’) is a small establishment located in Orchard Plaza. The restaurant itself is very small, probably can seat less than 20 pax. We are seated at the bench, directly facing the kitchen where the chefs are working. The place is dimly lit to create a cosy dining atmosphere but not very conducive to take photos. Like a typical yakitori joint in Japan.

The Menu

The menu is one page and it is obvious chicken is the star attraction here. We start the meal Otoshi ($3) – Small dish. It is light, nicely seasoned, good to tickle your tastebuds.

Otoshi

Toriwasa Shoyu ($14) – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi. This dish is one reason we come. Surprisingly, the chicken tasted like Tuna, with beef tataki sauce. You can see the external part of the meat is white like it is cooked to the equivalent of "rare steak". The mushroom and spring onions gave it earthy and spark to this dish.

Toriwasa Shoyu – Sashimi Chicken with Shoyu Wasabi.

Special Fish Cake ($12). Unlike Singapore version of fish cake, the homemade fish cake here is a crisp exterior with mushy tofu like inside. It is light in flavour and the edamame inside adds a crunchy texture to the dish.

Special Fish Cake

Sunagimo ($5.50) – Gizzard. One of our favourites. Crisp and crunchy, with a generous sprinkle of salt. Almost have a similar texture with Hatsu ($5.50) – Heart. Except Hatsu is juicier internally.

Sunagimo – Gizzard

Hatsu - Heart

Bonjiri ($5.50) – Tail / bishop. My favourite part of the chicken. Crisp, juicy with a burst of fattiness. Best of all it does not have a pungent smell that usually comes with the tail. Kawa ($6.50) – Chicken Skin. It is crispy, absent of fat. Taste like chicken crackling.

Bonjiri – Tail / bishop
Kawa - Chicken Skin

LD’s favourite is Nan Kotsu ($5.50) – Soft Bone. It is crunchy and nice to chew. Meanwhile, the Momo ($5.50) – Thigh is served with the skin on. It is grilled to the point of crispy skin, while the flesh remains juicy and succulent. Amazing.

Nan Kotsu – Soft Bone.

Momo - Thigh

Moving on from the chicken we ordered off the menu special, Abalone ($18), Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi ($18) and Kurobuta Kushi ($9). Kai uses small abalone, like the one used in Korean stew. It is chewy, juicy with a nice smoky aroma from the grill.

Abalone

Abalone

The wagyu beef is good, the charcoal grill manages to seal the juice inside the cubes. It just melts in your mouth. The Kurobuta pork is just superb. Served on a plate, it is crispy, fatty and the meat just melts in your mouth. The chopped spring onion and dipping sauce help to balance the richness from the Oink Oink.

Wagyu Beef A4 Kushi 

Kurobuta Kushi

For the finale, we ordered Tori Ramen ($10) and Oyako Don ($10). The ramen broth is made from chicken bones and filled collagen. The ramen is thin and al-dente. The flavour is good to complete your meal here.

Tori Ramen

The Oyako Don serve here is more of a modern version instead of the traditional version. The pearl rice at the bottom is covered with chicken and scramble egg cooked in chicken stock. It is then partially covered with perfectly poached egg and seaweed. A nice rice dish to end the meal.

Oyako Don

Oyako Don

The drinks menu here is limited. They only have Asahi Beer ($10), Whiskey Highball ($10), Sake and Ice Tea ($2). For service, the chefs behind the counter are super friendly. However, we find the service staff is a bit stern, especially towards non-regular like us.

Overall, it was indeed an amazing Yakitori experience. The control of fire by the head Yakitori Chef is flawless and the skill to chicken preparation is at Master level. The Toriwasa Shoyu (Chicken Sashimi with Shoyu sauce) is a must try. YOLO. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 9/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person:  $51 - $80, $81 and above.

Kai Yakitori
150 Orchard Road
#03-16 Orchard Plaza
Singapore 238841

T: +65 6245 7292 / 8836 4546
IG: @Kaiyakitorisg
OH:
Mon – Sat: 18.00 – 23.59
Closed on Sunday

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Ginett Singapore – Dry Aged Beef [MEDIA INVITE]

Charcoal Grill Steaks @ Ginett Singapore


Ginett Singapore is a contemporary European restaurant and wine bar located Hotel G. Ginett is a concept by R&B Lab, a recognised restaurants and bar management company headed by Michelin-Starred Chef Sylvain Royer.

Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar

In April 2019, Ginett Singapore introduced A Dry Ager Fridge usually found in a modern steakhouse and specialised butcher. With dry-ageing, the meat goes through a natural stage of tenderising itself with its own enzymes to reach the perfect texture and flavour. The optimum period of dry ageing is between four to six weeks.

Dry Ager Fridge

We tried 3 different types of steak to taste the difference between dry aged and non-dry aged steaks. Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+ (Natural free range, antibiotic and hormone free, $36 for 250 gram); Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 3 weeks and 6 weeks ($48 for 250 gram)

Top: Béarnaise, Pepper Sauce and Blue Cheese
Bottom: Left to Right Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 6 weeks and 3 weeks;
and Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+

All of the steaks are grilled on Mibrasa Charcoal Oven, where the steaks will have a nice seared and smoky flavour to it. We started with the non-dry aged beef. In each bite, you can taste the meaty texture of the beef and it has a slight chewiness as the steak is not that fatty.  A very flavourful beef.

Australian 30 to 36 months Pasture Fed Angus Beef Rib Eye MB3+

For the 3 weeks dry aged Australian Black Angus MB3+, you can taste the juiciness of the steak. Although it is more tender compared to the non-aged steak, there is still a solid bite of meatiness on the steak. Meanwhile, 6 weeks dry aged Australian Black Angus MB3+ will make you go WOW. The meat is juicy and succulent, and as it slowly melts in your mouth the intense flavour of the beef will make you go MOO MOO. Awesome!!

Australian Black Angus MB3+ Rib Eye dry aged for 6 weeks and 3 weeks

The steaks come with 3 different sauces Blue Cheese Sauce, Pepper Sauce and Béarnaise. My personal preference is the béarnaise as I like the creaminess in the sauce.

Mushroom Fricassée

Price includes choice of any 2 sides: Creamy Spinach, Mesclun Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Ratatouille, Mushroom Fricassée, Potato Wedges. We tried the Creamy Spinach, Ratatouille and Mushroom Fricassée. All three are equally good; however, the creamy just stands out for me. It was creamy, delicious and addictive.

Ratatouille

Creamy Spinach

Thursday night at Ginett is also known as Oyster Night. Each Fine de Claire oysters (regular price $26 for 6 pcs, $48 for 12 pcs) is selling for $1 on that night. It is juicy and brainy like you can taste the ocean in your mouth.

12 pcs of Fine De Claire Oysters

Fine De Claire Oysters

For another main, we ordered Scottish Salmon ($32). Nicely cooked thick cut of salmon fillet, the skin is seared until it is crispy, while the flesh remains moist and flaky. The creamy spinach paired nicely with the salmon.

Scottish Salmon

While we are waiting for the main dishes, we were served the sourdough bread. It is crisp and chewy. I suggest trying to eat the bread with creamy spinach. I made it like canapes, the bread absorbs the cream nicely and softens the sourdough as well. Yummy. 

Sourdough Bread with Butter

Sourdough Bread with Creamy Spinach Canapes
by Chubby Botak Koala

It is best to save some space for desserts, they are sublime. We tried Baba au Rhum ($14), Paris Brest ($18) and Chocolate Tart ($12).

Baba au Rhum is light and refreshing. The yeast-risen cake swimming in the middle of vanilla infused rum syrup. The combination of bread like cake with chilled syrup is just light and refreshing.

Baba au Rhum

Paris Brest has a nice crispy pastry, filled with delectable hazelnut cream. The nut on top is a bit strong, as the peanut butter taste slightly overpowered the hazelnut.

Paris Brest

Meanwhile, the chocolate tart is made from solid dark chocolate. It has a rich chocolate bitterness and nicely balanced with the crunchiness from pecan ice cream. A must try for chocolate lovers.

Chocolate Tart

The décor of Ginett is modern with the bar as the centre of the attention in the room. However, the new dry ager fridge steals some thunder from the bar. The combination of artistic photograph, plants and wine & cheese board made the dining feels like a European restaurant. The service is attentive and friendly.

Part of the Dining Area
The Bar

Overall, it was nice to return to Ginett. The new dry aged steak menu is definitely something to look forward to. I am impressed with the overall dining experience in Ginett. The $1 oyster on Thursday night is indeed a lucrative offer. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Ai Ling and Ginett Singapore team for the hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 8.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50, $51 - $80.

Ginett Singapore
200 Middle Road
Ground Floor, Hotel G Singapore
Singapore 188980

T: +65 6809 7989
IG: @Ginettsingapore
OH:
Sun – Thu: 07.00 – 23.30
Fri & Sat: 07.00 – 00.30
Menu is available online


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