Tuesday 21 June 2022

Picanhas’ X Panquecas’ – Steak & Pancakes For The People [MEDIA INVITE]

Picanhas’ is a steak house known for serving the secondary cut of Brazilian picanha steaks, which uses a rump cap cut. Although it is part of the under-used cut of the beef, it is very popular in Brazil or part of the cuts served in Brazilian Churrascaria (Brazilian Bbq).

In May 2022, the folks at Picanhas’ opened the dessert-focus outlet, Panquecas’ next door, offering their signature items in sweet and savoury variations. Combining their ethos from Picanhas’ and Panquecas’, their motto is “Steak and Pancakes for The People”.

Picanhas' X Panquecas' Menu
LD and I tried the current special at Picanhas’, The Royal Couple ($78) consists of 200g picanha steak, 200g Angus ribeye, garlic mashed potatoes and chimichurri sauce.

The Royal Couple
Cooked to medium-rare, they look irresistible. The picanha steak is almost lean but has a nice light chewy texture. It reminds me of the texture of thickly sliced ox tongue. Meanwhile, the Angus ribeye has a nice marbling to it, with the fats in the middle. It is tender, succulent and easily melts in your mouth.

Picanha steak with chimichurri sauce,
Potatoes & Brussel sprouts
The mashed potato is creamy and velvety, while the homemade chimichurri sauce has a nice twist of spicy kick in it. LD and I notice that salt seasoning on the steak can be a bit heavy, so if you prefer a lighter seasoning, you might want to ask them to put less salt or put the salt on the side.

For the sides, we choose Potatoes ($7) & Brussel Sprouts ($7). The potatoes are double-cooked and drizzled with sriracha mayo. It has a crispy exterior with a soft and moist interior. I like the creaminess of the potato, though I am not used to the mayo.

The Brussel Sprouts are also double cooked, where the second part is deep-fried in oil seasoned with beef fats. The exterior of the sprouts almost tastes like the outer layer of a shallot. However, LD and I find the deep-fried of Brussel sprouts do not work for us. I think we will prefer Picanhas’ festive Brussel sprouts, boiled, tossed with charcoal butter, smoked sea salt and garlic bits.

Brussel Sprouts
Next up is Mentaiko Pasta ($19). Unlike regular pasta, the black colour pasta is made from crepe sheets, topped with onsen egg and chilli oil. On the side, it has mentaiko king prawns and furikake. The pasta has an underlying sweet & spongy texture, combined with onsen egg and chilli oil it becomes a sweet and savoury mix. The prawns are big, juicy and delicious. It is a creative and unique dish.

Mentaiko Pasta
Mentaiko Pasta
On a side note, I tried the pasta with chimichurri sauce, it was an awesome pairing.

Crepe Pasta with Chimichurri Sauce
The desserts are the creations of Panquecas’, the name which means pancakes in Portuguese. We started with Apam Balik ($14), Panquecas’ version of our local pancake. The moist crepe is loaded with ground roasted peanut, sweet corn emulsion, pasty cream and peanut butter crumble. It is super delicious and such a flavour bomb. The soft serve vanilla ice cream also topped with ground roasted peanuts gave a smooth and milky touch to the desserts. Yummy!!

Apam Balik
Apam Balik
The Velvet ($15) – Velvet-Red Crepe, Cream Cheese, Almond Biscuit Crumbs, Strawberry Pastry Cream and Lemon Glaze. Inspired by red velvet cake, this dessert is a flavour overload. You have different flavours such as sweet, creamy, cheesy, savoury and a touch of tanginess from the lemon while being balanced with the soft serve vanilla ice cream. It is a good dessert, but it was too overwhelming for us after finishing The Royal Couple.

The Velvet
As a Muslim Owned restaurant, Picanhas’ does not serve alcoholic beverages. Instead, we have a lovely mocktail such as Virgin Mojito ($12) and Alcohol-Free Wine, Elivo Zero Zero Deluxe Red ($12 per glass/ $48 per bottle) - 60% Tempranillo, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alcohol-Free Wine, Elivo Zero Zero Deluxe Red, Virgin Mojito & Popcorn
Earlier in the day, the service staff deliver a bowl of homemade popcorn as our appetizer, after we placed our order, to enjoy with our drinks.

The Indoor Atmosphere
The décor of the Picanhas’ is gastropub like, with an open kitchen replacing the bar. The service at Picanhas’ is definitely the highlight. They are a friendly bunch that are genuinely pleased to chat with you and also provide services from the heart. As we were seated outside, we can see the crew interact with passers-by like their regular customers or their buddies. Awesome.

The Open Kitchen
Al-Fresco Seating Area
Overall, it was a pleasure dining at Picanhas’ and Panquecas’. The picanha steak and ribeye combo are a must-try, while their Apam Balik is just a flavour bomb. Will definitely return for these two great dishes. Cheers!!

The Regular Menu
Thank you very much, Parveen for the invite and Picanhas’ & Panquecas’ awesome crew for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation) - They are Super Awesome
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

90 Club Street
Singapore 069458

T: +65 9122 4326
Tue – Sun, 12.00 – 15.00; 17.30 – 22.00
Closed on Monday.

92 Club Street
Singapore 069460

T: +65 9754 1909
Tue – Sun, 12.00 – 15.00; 17.30 – 22.00 
Closed on Monday

Monday 13 June 2022

[CLOSED] NY Verden – Josper Grill Showcase

For the past 2 years, LD & I have been taking our walking exercises seriously. Since Singapore’s weather is unpredictable, hot and humid, we sometimes clock our steps by taking a stroll in Changi Airport, including Jewel. We pass by NY Verden Bar & Grill (‘NYV’) countless times as it is on our walking route, and the open concept Josper Grill is the one that catches my attention.

NYV Chef's Table with Josper Grill
NYV delivers Modern European cuisine with the elements of smoking, grilling and the pairing of wood-fire cooking with natural flavours from the season’s best products.

NY Verden
We finally make our way to NYV for an early dinner at the end of May 2022. It was before the dinner service rush, so we did not make any reservations. Once we were seated, the service staff presented the hardcopy menu and ask us to place the order through the QR code on the table.

Part of the Dining Area
Dinner started with Fine De Claire Oysters ($1 each), part of the promo when LD ordered Sourgal Moscato ($19 per glass). The oysters are medium in size, fresh, plump, juicy and brainy. It’s like tasting the ocean with each slurp.

Fine De Claire Oysters
According to LD, the Moscato is slightly sweet, fruity and with a touch of acidity. It is easy to drink and goes well with the oysters.

Moscato & Oysters
Signature Calamari ($19). From the look, I thought the batter going to be crispy but hard. However, I was proven wrong. The crispy batter crumbled effortlessly, allowing you an easy bite at the juicy and slightly chewy calamari. The aioli is creamy, solid and complements the fried calamari nicely.

Signature Calamari
Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata ($28). Supposedly smoked with apple or cherry wood. The intense beetroot flavour from the smoking process complements the creamy burrata. The pistachio and peas emulsion is very light, it softens the intense flavour of the smoked beetroot and enhances the flavour of the burrata at the same time. The crispy rice puff completed all the texture profiles on the plate. Absolutely Gorgeous!!

Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata 
Josper-grilled Sea Bass ($28). The whole seabass is butterflied and backbone removed, then grilled to perfection. The exterior is charred, while the flesh is moist, juicy and flaky. The fish is lightly seasoned and we just need to complete the taste with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Perfecto!!

Josper-grilled Sea Bass 
The Seabass flesh
Grain-Fed Black Angus Ribeye ($45). The steak is grilled in the Josper grill with Jarrah / Oak Wood. Delivering medium-rare doneness, as per our order. It has a nice charred externally, while the interior is succulent. The steak is more of the meaty type, not those with a high level of marbling and melts in your mouth. The masala wine and bone marrow juice combination are creamy yet acidic, while the grilled tomato is plump and bursting with juice.

Grain-Fed Black Angus Ribeye 
Medium Rare
During our visit in May, NYV was running a promotion of 90mins Free Flow Alcohol (beer on tap & cider) for all diners with a minimum spend of $100 in a single receipt per table. Please check on the poster outside the restaurant.

Free Flow Cider
Free Flow Alcohol Poster
The décor of the restaurant is modern, steakhouse like and with the view of the waterfall at Jewel. It is a nice place to dine, especially when the lights or show at the waterfall are happening in the evening. On the other side restaurant, there is a chef’s table, with a bar height table and stools. For this seating, you can see the Chef in action with his Josper Grill preparing your meal.

Dining Area with Waterfall View
The level of service is varied. Our initial service person is nice and friendly, while the one delivering our food has a stiff unfriendly demeanour.

Overall, LD and I enjoy the food at NVY. They are tasty, flavourful and perfectly executed. We like the Oysters, Signature Calamari, Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata and Josper-grilled Sea Bass. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

NY Verden Bar & Grill
78 Airport Blvd
#03-227, Jewel Changi Airport
Singapore 819666

T: +65 8772 4227
W: https://nyverden.oddle.me/en_SG/
F: https://www.facebook.com/nyverdensg/
IG: @Nyverdensg
OH: Daily, 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.30

Friday 10 June 2022

Birds of a Feather – Sichuan x Modern European Cooking

The first thing that comes to my mind related to the word Sichuan is Mala, the mind-numbing spicy sensation from the Sichuan peppercorn. Following that, is an image of a dish or steamboat, filled with scary hot red chillies. However, Birds of a Feather (‘BOF’) is here to dispel that stereotype. BOF aims to showcase the real flavours of Chengdu through its refined and modern European technique, led by Executive Chef Eugene See.

Cocktail - Tian Mi Mi
After more than 2 years of social distancing and limited group gathering, our first makan session with regular makan kakis, lead us to BOF. Since we have BOF regular patrons, we leave the ordering to Purple Eats and Msginginly. There were eight of us, so we order almost half of the menu.

Cocktail - Someone Like You
Bang Bang ($14) – Cold Dressed Chicken, Mustard Green, Peanut, Edible Coaster. It is a refreshing dish, with a combination of shaved cucumber, chicken and mustard green with a touch of Sichuan oil. The best part of the dish is the peanut coaster, which you need to whack with your spoon “bang, bang”. A multi-texture and multi-flavour dish.

Bang Bang
Bang Bang
Find The Chicken in the Chillies ($19), popularly known as Szechuan Popcorn Chicken. I think the way BOF named this dish is the correct one. The popcorn chickens are buried under a pile of dried chilli and cashew nuts. Luckily the version here is not very spicy, I still able to enjoy the chicken and cashew, without gulping on lots of water.

Find The Chicken in the Chillies
Yu Xiang Eggplant ($18). The eggplant is hidden under the aromatic spring onion crumble. The Yu Xiang sauce goes nicely with the eggplant, making it looks like mapo tofu. I find the bocconcini is out of place in this dish and some of the crumble can be doughy.

Yu Xiang Eggplant
Pork Dumpling ($17) – Pan-Seared, Sichuan Dressing, Sage Foam, Butternut Puree, Fried Sage, Almond. A beautifully plated dish, where the dumplings seem to float above the cloud. The gyoza is tasty and bouncy, while the Sichuan dressing mixed with the butternut puree gives this dish a sweet and spicy touch.

Pork Dumpling
Pork Dumpling
Burratine & Tomato ($24). East meets West dish. The burratina is paired with Joyn tomato, Sichuan sesame dressing, marinated kumquat and crushed peanuts. It is also served with toasted bread.

Burratine & Tomato
The Toast
You have a creamy and milky texture, mixed with sesame sauce and join by the bursting of tomatoes and refreshing sweet tangy flavour of the kumquat. The crunchy peanuts provided the much-needed contrasting texture in the dish. When you apply it on top of the toast it helps to balance the richness of the burratina and the Sichuan sesame dressing. Reminds me of peanut butter on toast with cream cheese.

Burratine & Tomato on Toast
Barramundi Chazuke ($34). Chazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring the broth over cooked rice. At BOF, they poured the Sichuan Sour vegetable fish broth over the Japanese rice. The broth is spicy, sour and uplifting at the same time. Topping the dish is a pan-seared barramundi fillet, ikura and a thin cracker. Unfortunately, once you poured the broth, the cracker will shrink and almost dissolve into the broth. Note to self, next time remove the cracker.

Barramundi Chazuke
Strange Flavour Prawn ($42). You start by squeezing the lime on the dish, especially on the smoky, firm and bouncy tiger prawns. The sauce below is slightly sweet, spicy and tangy. The chopped fried beancurd tried to soak up the sauce unsuccessfully, however, it provide a soft chewy texture to the dish. The green papaya salad on the side is just awesome. Light and tangy. Tasted more like a Vietnamese or Thai dish instead of Sichuan.

Strange Flavour Prawn
Strange Flavour Prawn
Loup De Mer ($89) – Whole European Seabass, Denise Pesto, Sweet Vinegar Joyn Tomato, Celtuce. The seabass is soft, smooth and flaky. The pesto sauce is unexpectedly light and refreshing, allowing the natural flavour of the fish to shine. Meanwhile, the tomato delivered a sweet and bursting flavour and the celtuce provided a contrasting texture to the fish. Yummy

Loup De Mer
Homestyle Pork Belly ($58) – Fried Kale, Fragrant Mushroom Garlic Rice, Egg Confit, Shaved Black Truffle. BOF interpretation of Lu Rou Fan. I got shocked by the amount of shaved truffle on the dish. The braised pork belly is fork-tender, while the bitterness from the fried kale cuts through the fats in the pork belly. The garlic rice is plump and tasty, enhanced by the umami flavour from the shaved truffle. The egg confit just binds all the delicious ingredients together. Yum Yum.

Homestyle Pork Belly
Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs ($88). We were almost full when this dish arrived, having said that, we just can’t say NO to pink short rib. It is tender, succulent and you can taste the Sichuan spice rub in the background. The broccolini and fried garlic added a nice crunch to the dish, while the potato coated with morel mushroom gravy is just delicious. A very comforting dish.

Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs 
Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs 
The décor of the restaurant is modern yet comforting. I like the natural light coming through the glass ceiling. The furniture is a mix of sofas with dining table, or sofa with coffee table. Luckily, we were seated at the dining table section, if not we are going to have a problem dining at a shorter table. Not forgetting, one of the walls has the mascot of Chengdu, a panda painting on it. Service is knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. The service staff will give a short description of the dish, once they are presented on the table.

Birds of A Feather Panda
Overall, this is the first time I came to BOF and I totally enjoyed the food here. Instead of the overpowering spicy Sichuan cuisine, most of the dishes have been well thought out, multi-layered yet balanced, delicious and well-executed. The Bang Bang, Burattine & Tomato, Loup De Mer, Homestyle Pork Belly and Slow Roasted Sichuan Short Ribs are my pick. Cheers!!

Irish Tea
Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: 7.75/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and above

Birds of a Feather
115 Amoy Street
#01-01. S069935

T: +65 9755 7115
Mon – Thu: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 23.00
Sat: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 24.00
Sun: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.00

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