Lunch @ ReStore // CLOSED

September 1, 2012 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

It was one of the few rare days I get to be in the CBD area during weekdays. Thus, I called my girlfriend (who, unlike me, is working in the CBD area) to check out ReStore Cafe during our lunch breaks.

It was definitely interesting to walk into the long, narrow interior of the cafe, which occupied the first level of a shophouse, where a row of (vintage) furniture is flanked on our left and a row of tables for us to sit and have our food on the right.

We got curious and stole a peak at the price tag of one of the chairs which was hung on the wall and was alarmed to see a “$360″ shouting back at us. Well, I guess it’s always true that vintage items dont come cheap. Though frankly, I did like a fair bit of the vintage furniture they had.

And it’s interesting to note that in front of the kitchen, there’s a pile of books of fabric. I guess one gets to customise their purchase too?

And from the menu, my girlfriend and I ordered:-

1) Caramel Banana Homemade Waffle, $9.80 (above) – This was not too bad with the batter being slightly salty such that it left a little after taste. The whipped cream which was served together with the waffle was smooth and on the denser side.

2) Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with maple syrup walnut cream cheese, $5.50 (above) – This, shockingly, did not impress despite all the past raves. Bagels are meant to be crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. While the bagel was crispy on the edge where it was cut into halves, the other parts of the bagel was tough on the outside and very dense on the inside. We were not able to finish the bagel cause we got so full (easily) from all the dough. But it’s interesting to note that we get to choose the flavour of our cream cheese with the choices being i) Plain cream cheese ii) Caramel cream cheese iii) Maple syrup walnut cream cheese. I actually liked the cream cheese!

3) Caffe Latte with earl grey cookie, $4.50 (above) – The coffee did not impress.

Overall, it’s a nice place to chill and pass time. The lady offered to cut our bagels into quarters when she saw us struggling on how to cut our bagel to share. Nice! But I would not recommend the CBD crowd to head here for lunch for they only offer bagels, waffles, muffins and cookies. I guess selling vintage furniture is really their core business. And I will, in fact, recommend dropping by here if you are looking for some nice, quirky furniture!

124 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore
6222 3510, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Tues : 11:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 6
Wed – Sat : 11:00 – 23:00
Value: 6
Sun : 11:00 – 19:00
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Mikuni

August 29, 2012 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Having read a few recent reviews on Mikuni, I was curious to check the restaurant out. And the address can be a little misleading as the restaurant is not located within the hotel.

We entered into a restaurant which is very zen with its large usage of black and blue lighting for its interior. Immediately on our right is the sashimi station, ahead is the sake bar and right at the back is the robatayaki counter. And because we decided not to go for any of the Tour Menu, we chose to sit at the sashimi station for an omakase styled dinner.

While noting that not all sashimi dishes were captured on camera, the chef presented us with:-

1) Crispy ebi cracker, Complimentary (above) – This was addictive. Or could it be that I was just hungry. Hmm…

2) Various sashimi (above) – Of all the sashimi dishes, this will be my absolute favourite. All three ingredients (squid, urchin, seaweed) went perfectly well together. I wish I could have more. Again, do note the above four are not the only sashimi dishes served. I did not take photograph of the sashimi slices which the chef will place at random intervals onto our individual wooden plates that’s in front of us.

Noticing that all our dishes were sashimi, we enquired with the waitress if there’re any cooked dishes. To which the waitress said that the omakase served was solely sashimi, unless otherwise requested by the customers. And with that, we placed order for a few more (other) dishes.

3) Grilled kinki fish (above) – This was decent. Fish was fresh with the meat being slightly sweet. Though I did notice the skin was a little damp despite it supposedly to be grilled.

4) Clam soup (above) – Wanting to try the soup, the waitress gave us a few options of which we opt for the clam. However, the portion was unexpectedly small. It felt more like it was a teacup (clam) soup.

5) Green tea ice cream, red bean waffle (above) – And when we further requested for the desserts menu, the waitress told us that our omakase styled dinner comes with a dessert. And the presented dessert was definitely a delight. The waffle crumbled once it came into contact with our mouth, while the red bean was not too sweet. Again, green tea and red bean is almost a fool-proof combination.

All in all, it was a so-so dining experience for us. I have been to a few omakase styled dinners while being seated at the counter, but Mikuni’s chef was not interactive as how I thought he should be. In fact, we had a very bad encounter with him.

10 minutes after the waitress asked if we had any last order, we enquired if we could order additional (cooked) dishes. To which, the waitress (who is also assigned to serve us) very kindly said she will check the kitchen for us. To which, of course, she brought us good news. However, when she left a second time to pass our orders to the kitchen, the chef behind the sashimi counter came up to us. Now, this shall also be his first conversation with us. When he learnt that his fellow colleague had taken our orders despite it being past last order time, he bad mouthed his colleague saying that she must not know what she’s doing to be taking our orders despite me clarifying that his colleague had indeed checked with the kitchen first. To me, I felt the chef helming the sashimi counter was highly non professional. Who goes around talking ill of his colleagues, to customers too?

80 Bras Basah Road, Fairmont Singapore, Level 3, Singapore
6431 6156, Website
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 5

Dinner @ PepeNero

August 26, 2012 in Italian by thywhaleliciousfay

I called the day before to make a reservation for 8.30pm with no hiccups. This will in fact be my fourth time trying to dine at PepeNero, and I am glad I finally made it (I did not manage to on the first three attempts cause work cropped out last minute. Yeps). Ha.

And deciding on what to order was very difficult because everything on the menu sounded / looked so good! And from the menu, my girlfriend and I ordered:-

1) Roasted octopus with vegetables “caponata” and crispy leeks, $22 (above) – Having ordered the stuffed squid as a main, we ordered this only upon the staff’s recommendation as he mentioned the 2 dishes are different. And the octopus certainly did not disappoint. I am in fact very intrigued by how the chef did it. The octopus, which was slightly sweet to taste, was tender and not chewy.

2) “Carnaroli” risotto in squid ink with seafood ragout, $33 (above) – A must try! The black risotto was served wet (which risotto really should be) and was a pure delight to consume. It was the first of the mains to arrive and my girlfriends and I could not stop. And the seafood used, especially the prawn, were fresh and huge!

3) Linguine with white clams, sea urchin and mullet roe, $26 – They ran out of white clams, and we were given the choice to replace the clams with prawns. But we went “Give us more sea urchin please.” Ha! Of the 4 mains, this will probably rank number 4. It could be I had been having decent / good pasta recently, thus this dish came across as slightly above average, if not decent.

4) Homemade ravioli filled with black cod fish “cooked in cartoccio style” with lobster sauce and broccoli, $32 (above) – We were debating between the duck or the fish, and we decided to go for the latter cause frankly, I have not tried fish filled ravioli. The pasta dough used to wrap the fish was thin, and while it’s slightly salty, that did not stop the 3 of us from finishing everything.

5) 12-hour slow stewed squid stuffed with altamura country bread, clams and prawns with fresh basil and pachino cherry tomatoes, $26 (above) – A must try! Again, the squid meat was tender and soft. In fact, it was so tender that we could just use our spoon to slice the whole squid into slices to expose the stuffed ingredients inside. Wow! But it’s to note that the dish is slightly salty.

6) Ginger creme brulee with chocolate flakes, $12 (above) – This was served in a large, flat bowl. The caramelised sugar was even and thin. Nicely done! Though the ginger was pretty overpowering.

7) Pepenero tiramisu, $12 (above) – This was nice, though not the best I had.

Overall, the 3 ladies enjoyed our dinner totally! Oh yes, we ordered a lot for 3. =p The staff were very professional too. The chef even came up to say hi, and was humble to the extent where he wanted to take our orders when my (silly) girlfriend accidentally raised her hand with the menu. Haha. For $100 per person (we ordered a bottle of white wine too), I will definitely recommend PepeNero.

14 Stanley Road, Singapore
6222 5808, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Sun
Service: 8