Dinner @ Le Bistrot du Sommelier

July 30, 2012 in French by thywhaleliciousfay

Sometimes, town is still the best place to meet because it’s central and hence more accessible if you are meeting up with friends who work at opposite corners in Singapore. Ha.

Although we made a reservation, there was no empty table for us at the ground level. We were brought to the 2nd storey (bar) where we decided to order appetizers, and of course a bottle of white wine. =p And it’s surprisingly cosy at the upper level.

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

1) Duck Rillette (above)

2) Ibenico Shoulder (above) – We were curious over the difference between the Ibenico Shoulder and Ibenico Ham, to which the waiter went “The Ibenico Shoulder has more omph”. And so we decided to go with it. Ha.

3) Chicken Liver Pate (above)

The duck rillette, ibenico shoulder and chicken liver pate were served together on a wooden tray, with a basket of bread and a small bowl of pickled cucumbers. And allow me to say, these were SO good. Try eating them alone or spread over the bread. The flavours were so rich, yet unique in taste when compared to one another. But if you really need me to choose, I will say the chicken liver pate and ibenico shoulder are must trys!

We spent almost a good one hour in the bar enjoying our appetizers and chatting away. When the waiter came back to take order for our mains, we decided to have our mains at the ground level.

And from the menu, I ordered:-

1) French duck leg confit (Cassoulet style) - I was being a little adventurous by opting for my duck leg confit to be baked in white beans stew. And frankly, I did not really like it though it’s to note that the duck meat was tender and came off easily from the bone.

If it was not because I had to rush off, I would have definitely stayed on to try their desserts. Not everyone may appreciate dining in a dimly lit place, but I thought the upper storey had a better ambience than the ground level which was brightly lit. Ha. I definitely recommend this place for a good catch up over finger food and wine. Second storey, of course. =)

53 Armenian Street, Singapore
6333 1982, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
* Closed on Sun
Service: 8

Dim sum @ Crystal Jade Golden Palace

July 28, 2012 in Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

I’ve been to Crystal Jade Golden Palace for dinner (More than a year back) and recently, for dim sum. Called on a Saturday evening to make reservation for the next day at 12.15pm successfully. And over the tele-conversation, I was told that there’s a 1 hour 15 minutes time limit for each table. Well, I am not too used to having a time curfew, but it sounded fair enough.

It was a pleasant surprise when we were led into one of the rooms, instead of the main dining area, which provided us the privacy and allowed the children to run around. Ha. =) We ordered a fair bit for 7 adults from the menu, with the dishes which left an impression being (Do note that they do not serve buffet, everything is ordered a la carte):-

1) Diced barbecue pork (above) – Comprised of 9 pieces and served with a dish of mustard, the skin was thin and crispy. And together with the thin layers of fat, the meat of the pork belly was tender and juicy. A must try!

2) Steamed char siew (barbecue pork) buns – It’s always a visual treat to peel / spilt the bun into halves to see the red, juicy char siew (pork) that’s within with steam coming out. =p The sweet pork fillings went well with the soft bun. A must try! Eat it while it’s served piping hot too.

3) Liu sha (custard) buns (above) – Frankly, this is my first time trying this dish, and I regretted sharing the orange bun after taking my first bite of it.

4) Sharks fin, scallop dumpling (above) – Pardon me if I got the name of this dish wrong, but this is a gigantic dumpling served in a bowl of soup. And when the thin skin of the dumpling is broken, all the expensive ingredients spill out. I did not really fancy the dumpling skin, cause I prefer to consume the soup with all the sharks fin, etc on its own. Ha.

5) Pan fried rice rolls – This will be like our chee cheong fan, but presented differently. Instead of a mess of cut up rice rolls, we were served with a plate of rice rolls neatly stacked on one another. It was a little spicy for me (I am not spicy trained) though I have to acknowledge that the rice roll was smooth amidst the spiciness. And it was commented by the rest that it had the ‘old school’ taste.

6) Glutinous dumpling with grated nuts & sesame, $1.30 per piece (minimum 4 pieces) (above) – The presentation was nothing to shout about, being 8 nut-covered balls served cramp-ly on a white plate (We went with the dry version). But it was simply delightful to bite into the skin of the glutinous dumpling, which was chewy with the right thickness, and have the sesame burst out. A must try!

I will definitely recommend this place for dim sum. For the price of almost $200 for 7, I would not say it’s expensive, especially with the quality of dim sum served. But come in a group though. What’s dim sum if we are going to order only 2 to 3 dishes? Imagine the price tag if you’re ordering 5 dishes for 2. And even though we were in the room, we were always promptly attended to by the staff.

As for the time curfew? We managed to finish our last dish by 1.25pm, with us settling the bill at 1.30pm. But apparently, I guess the 1 hour 15 minutes includes for the staff to clean up the place and have it ready for the next time slot. Cause when we were leaving our room at 1.30pm, I overheard the staff whispering harshly into her ear piece “They are standing up already. They are standing up already.” Definitely a pat on the back for this staff who managed the situation well and chose not to spoil our dining experience by chasing us out at that very last minute of 1.30pm.

290 Orchard Road, The Paragon, #05-22, Singapore
6734 6866, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 10:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 7
Service: 8

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.

Brunch @ Open Door Policy

July 24, 2012 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

I really like this place! It could be the wonderful company that I had too which helped to add points to my pleasant dining experience.

I tried calling the day before to make a reservation for a Sunday brunch, but no one was picking up the phone. Thus, my girl friend and I popped by at 2.30pm. And it was a pleasant surprise when we found we were still in time to order items from their lunch menu! (Last order for lunch is 3pm)

The place was packed when we reached, but fortunately there were 2 empty seats at the counter, which I actually preferred cause it allowed us to watch the chefs in action in the kitchen. =)

And from the menu, my girl friend and I ordered:-

1) Papaduck papadum with crusted duck fillets & mint yoghurt dip, $18 (above) – This was nice; The contrast between the crunchy exterior and the juicy, tasty duck meat. We easily finished off this dish. And in a way, it was interesting cause the chef happened to be bulk preparing this dish of ours in the kitchen!

2) Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted ciabatta with spinach and fresh herbs, $19 (above) – The serving was huge. And hidden under the layer of smoked salmon were the scrambled egg and spinach. The toasted ciabatta paled in (size) comparison against the generous serving of scrambled egg, but the ciabatta sure did absorb all the flavour / juice of the ingredients which was piled on top. An interesting combination.

3) ODP pancakes with blackberry and chocolate, $17 (above) – The pancakes were slightly crispy on the outside while soft and fluffy in the inside. And it sticks a little in the mouth when eaten, just like how I like my pancake to be. Ha. =) And it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate.

So yes, I enjoyed my brunch at ODP! And it was a bit on the self-entertaining part where my girl friend and I would create conversations we think the chef would be having behind the glass. Haha. We stayed all the way till 4pm (their closing time), where they would start switching off the lights right at the back. Though it’s also to note that the end of the long interior is empty.

19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore
6221 9307, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon, Wed – Fri : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon, Wed – Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Sat – Sun : 11:00 – 15:30 (Brunch)
Service: 7
* Closed on Tues