Dinner @ Dehesa Singapore

December 3, 2016 in Spanish by thywhaleliciousfay

Catching up over a table filled with many plates of good food is always a good idea. And for our next meet up, I suggested to my girlfriends to have Spanish cuisine as it has been a while since we last had Spanish. Or wait, it was a long while since I last met this group of girlfriends. o_O

Reservation was made using Chope. Oh yes, it was one of those days where I was feeling too lazy to talk. Haha. And it was a good thing reservation was made through Chope; We had to postpone our dinner to a week later, and I amended our reservation details with just a few clicks. Keke.

However, on the day of our dinner, 1 was still stuck at work at 7.30pm. So it turned out to be an intimate dinner affair between 2 ladies. But still over a table filled with many plates of good food. =p

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Duck hearts on toast, $14 (above) – We realised the duck hearts were not fully cooked. Ie, it was slightly raw in the centre. But we liked it that way. It introduced a good ‘crunch’, without it being too tough. I especially enjoyed eating the toast which was thoroughly soaked with the gravy. A must order.

2) Octopus, $28 (above) – Served on a bed of mashed potato, octopus was soft without the rubbery texture. Decent! My girlfriend especially liked the layer of lard served on top of the octopus!

3) Clams, $24 (above) – In sherry and jamon.

4) Crispy pig’s head, $28 (above) – With egg yolk, capers. Thankfully chef Jean-Philippe Patruno saved us from the gruesome sight of a pig head by serving this in the form of a really big fried meatball. Ha! And this was really good. If only the yolk that came with it wasn’t served to us broken. Sob!

5) Dehesa platter, $42 (above) – Having seen a few of these coming out from the kitchen during our dinner, my girlfriend and I decided to order cold cuts too. We intended to order the jamon joselito ($38) but decided to get variety with $4 more. A wise decision, indeed. Keke. Everything was so good. Including the bread which was soft and fluffy. A must order.

6) Arroz negro paella, $52 (above) – With squids, clams, prawns.

7) Chocolat, $14 (above) – With olive oil, salt. This wasn’t very impressive. Give it a miss and try the other desserts.

8) Torijas, $14 (above) – With plum, creme fraiche.

Would I recommend Dehesa? A definite yes. Except for the chocolate ice cream, every dish was a hit! My girlfriend and I were simply enjoying ourselves. Even though we over-ate and had serious bloating after dinner. Haha.

However, chef Jean-Philippe Patruno was the only person in the kitchen that Friday night. So when the crowd came in at 8pm, our orders took significantly longer to be served. And it was interesting that the staff was particularly concerned if my girlfriend and I could finish our food.

When we confirmed at 9pm that our 3rd friend wasn’t coming, the staff went on to say she will cancel our remaining order instead of asking if we wanted to proceed. And I must had been very baffled because the word “cancel” simply didn’t register with me. Thankfully chef JP came in the nick of time and saved us by serving our next dish! Please know we ladies could also eat as much (or even more) than guys. Keke.

And it’s read from their website that Dehesa is the only front-runner of nose-to-tail eating revolution in Singapore. With made-from-scratch and robustly flavoured alternative cut and offal delicacies, as well as succulent classic cut specialities with a commitment to whole animal usage.

12 North Canal Road, Singapore
6221 7790, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 17:30 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Alma by Juan Amador [Revisit]

November 26, 2016 in Spanish by thywhaleliciousfay

Was feeling pretty uninspired as to where to go for dinner. And thus, my friend and I decided to head back to an ‘old’ restaurant. Reservation was made 1 day prior to our actual visit. I guess the last minute reservation showed how uninspired I was. Yeps.

Located at Level 1 of Goodwood Park Hotel, we had no trouble parking as (parking) lots were aplenty within the compound. Although it’s noted parking is not complimentary. Parking fee came up to $6. Then again, it might have been. We didn’t think of checking with the staff. And if parking was complimentary for diners, the staff didn’t ask if we needed parking coupon.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) 8 course degustation menu, $178 comprised of:-

(A) Alma snacks (above) – Tomato meringue topped with truffle, fish tartare roll with coriander powder, and blueberry sable.


(B) Amuse bouche (above) – Egg custard with pea espuma and truffle vinaigrette, served with chips.

(C) Potato bread (above) – And within the sack, the 3 pieces of bread were placed on top of warmed pebbles. And I really liked the bread. It wasn’t the typical soft and fluffy bread, but heavier and oiler. Probably because of the addition of potato. When the staff asked if we wanted seconds, I said yes! Had to be fair lah. I wanted 2 pieces too! =p

(D) Foie gras (above) – Terrine beneath a layer of lychee jelly and topped with cauliflower ice cream.

(E) Lamb tartare (above) – Served with goat cheese, tomato chutney and herbs.

(F) Hokkaido scallop (above) – I wasn’t too impressed with the scallops. There was a very strong (weird) smell which I suspected was from the finger root; A medicinal and culinary herb from China and Southeast Asia also known as Chinese ginger.

(G) Crispy tofu (above) – Honestly, when I saw tofu on the menu, I was tempted to ask if I could have it replaced. It’s just me. I am fine with tofu. But if I could, I rather not have it. But luckily I didn’t. Cause it was so good! Went very well with the foie gras sauce.

(H) Kingfish belly (above)

(I) “Ham & cheese sandwich” (above) – And this dish stood out for me. Suckling pig and melted manchego cheese sandwiched between two heavily buttered toast. Further topped with shaved truffle. It was sinfully good.

(J) Australian pork – And what’s on the original menu was miyazaki beef. But we had it changed cause we don’t take beef. Unfortunately, this was a let down for a main; Pork belly with pork stock served with kale and mustard. So while skin was thin and crisp, I was expecting more from a Michelin-starred restaurant. This seemed too… Normal? No, don’t tell me less is more. o_O

(K) Pre-dessert – Caramelised sugar over yogurt and strawberry.


(L) Truffle – Presented as what looked like a mini garden, dessert was dark chocolate and truffle ice creams. The latter was really interesting. I told my friend we had to finish it for all the truffle pieces within. Haha.

(M) Petit four – Sour green apple bon bon, ice cream with honeycomb and gula melaka canele.

Am glad they updated their menu since my last visit. I was very much impressed by the food. Would I recommend Alma by Juan Amador? This time round, a definite yes. And of course… That complimentary glass of champagne (to celebrate their Michelin star) certainly made us happier than we already were with the great food. Keke.

22 Scotts Road, Goodwood Park Hotel, Level 1, Singapore
6735 9937, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Wed – Fri : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.

Dinner @ Alma by Juan Amador

August 13, 2015 in Spanish by thywhaleliciousfay

For a restaurant opened by a Michelin starred chef, it was pretty surprising there wasn’t much publicity for Alma. To the extent that I can’t even remember how I read about them. Oops.

And taken from their website, Swabian chef Juan Amador whose restaurant Amador in Mannheim has 3 Michelin stars, aims to introduce Asian-influenced Spanish–European cuisine that indulges with traditional dishes. So yes, if one is to look at their menu, it’s separated into ‘traditional’ and ‘evolution’.

My friend and I came on a weekday evening. Upon entry, we were led promptly to our table. And the immediate feel I got about the place was that it’s very formal, making it an ideal venue for business lunch.

However, with most of the dishes on the menu seemed to be for sharing (like tapas), I was a little confused if Alma was a full-fledged restaurant or a tapas place. Cause if Alma intended to be a tapas place, its formal-restaurant-setting did not set the correct ambience; I personally prefer tapas restaurant to be cosy, noisy, and where I could sit at counter. My obsession with counter seats. Ha.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Bread, Complimentary (above)

2) Gambas, $18 (above) – Al ajillo. Al ajillo would refer to how the shrimps were cooked; In garlic. And this was bad. I was shocked to see shrimps soaked in oil.


3) Croquetas de bacaloa, $18 (above) – Served with aioli. Aioli refers to a Provençal sauce made of garlic, olive oil, egg yolks, and lemon juice. And these were not too bad.

4) Monk fish cheek, $22 (above) – Served with sauce choron. Served similar to ‘fish and chips’ style. Fried to a beautiful golden, fish meat within was moist and juicy. And these were good on its own. I often forgot to dip it into the sauce.

5) Octopus & chorizo, $22 (above) – Pintxo. Pintxo refers to a small snack typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain. They are related to tapas except for the difference that pintxo is usually ‘spiked’ with a skewer or toothpick. So yes, we were served a skewer of octopus and pork sausage. I did not quite fancy the chorizo though. Acquired taste, perhaps.

6) Yellow fin tuna, $18 (above) – With shitake, green curry.

7) Duck liver, $18 (above) – With papaya, PX vinegar, onion. With papaya served like papaya salad that’s placed on top of the duck liver, the papaya introduced an interesting ‘crunch’ to the dish. However, it’s a personal preference that I did not enjoy this rendition as I felt the papaya distracted rather than complement the main ingredient (duck liver).

8) Pigeon, $32 (above) – Mango, coco, purple curry. And we were told by the staff that this was one of chef Juan Amador’s signature dishes. In fact, it was this dish which earned chef Juan Amador his Michelin stars. The layer of ‘purple curry’ between the pigeon and mango cubes would be a combination of oriental spices. However, I thought the pigeon was a little too bloody for my liking.

9) Brick in the wall, $18 (above) – Of the 3 desserts available on the a-la carte menu, we decided to go with this. Made of spiced milk, beetroot and raspberry. This was pretty interesting with a sour twist.

Unfortunately, I did not quite enjoy the dishes at Alma. I guess it was too… Fusion? Although some of the dishes we ordered were from the ‘traditional’ category, they were still pretty Asian-influenced. Speaking of which, the menu could be somewhat difficult to understand as the name of the dishes were mostly in Spanish with little translation in English.

Service was great, although a little inconsistent. Upon seated, it took the staff a really long while before they passed us the menu. And of the 4 waiting staff, one was impressively professional. He was friendly and did the introduction of the dishes enthusiastically and detailed-ly.

If one chooses to dine at Alma, one could choose to go a-la carte like my friend and I, or go with the surprise menu where one can choose 4-course ($68), 5 course ($88), 6 course ($108) and 8 course ($148). The staff recommends the 6-course surprise menu, else one may be too full. And of course, some of the dishes from the surprise menu are not available on the a-la carte menu. If one wishes to know more about the surprise menu at Alma, one may read fellow blogger MissNeverFull‘s review of her 6-course surprise menu.

22 Scotts Road, Goodwood Park Hotel, Level 1, Singapore
6735 9937, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Wed – Fri : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.