Dinner @ Whitegrass [Revisit]

August 8, 2018 in Australian by thywhaleliciousfay

After our wonderful dinner at Magic Square, my instagram foodie friends @abbey_thebolobao, @thetravellingcow and @free.the.umami were up for our next food adventure. And we unanimously agreed on Whitegrass. Which was great because I had been interested to return to Whitegrass for their dinner menu since my last enjoyable lunch in 2016. Not to forget that this time, I would be returning to a Michelin-starred Whitegrass.

With that, reservation was made for a weekday. And on the afternoon of our planned dinner, the restaurant called to request our choice of menu. I am wondering if the call came about because we were a big group of 6. And between the 5-course and 7-course menus, we (foodies) naturally went with the former. Keke.

And we started our 7-course ($250) dinner with:-

1) Amuse bouche #1 (above) – Deep fried baby crab with salted egg batter.


2) Amuse bouche #2 (above) – Plated like macaron was sesame biscuit and garocha cheese.

3) Amuse bouche #3 (above) – Yellow and green zucchini tart with lemon gel.


  

4) Bread, Complimentary (above) – And before this was served, @free.the.umami was raving about the lard. I guess the lard must be a new item since I didn’t have that in my previous visit. And I must say the bread was a sight to behold; Served beautifully as a rose. I really enjoyed the sourdough with the lard. Followed by the butter of course. But what’s really good was the sourdough. The staff saw us enjoying the bread very much and gave us additional. Keke.

5) Dish #1 (above) – Ginger milk curd, spring peas and bottarga.

6) Dish #2 (above) – Western Australian marron, fresh curd, wild fennel pollen, pickled watermelon rind, seawater.


7) Dish #3 (above) – Red braised Challans duck, eggplant cream, kanten noodles, water chestnut, Chinese jelly mushrooms. This was so good! Flavourful with many contrasting textures. My favourite dish for the night. A must try.

8) Dish #4 (above) – Smoked eel, potato and celeriac, crispy quinoa. Interesting that it was cooked to a texture similar to risotto.

9) Dish #5 (above) – Butter poached Hokkaido snow crab, golden crab dumpling, water shield, egg drop soup.


10) Dish #6 (above) – Buddha jumps over the wall. Yin-yang scallop ‘cheong fan’ skin, slow roasted iberico pork neck, abalone, shimeji mushroom cap, lotus seeds and shiitake custard in pork rib broth.


11) Dish #7 (above) – Slow roasted Pyrenees lamb neck, seaweed chimichurri, agretti. And we were told the lamb was braised before it was shredded and then pan-roasted.



12) Dessert #1 (above) – Dragon eye blossom honey, Hokkaido milk jelly, burnt honey whip, milk ice cream, dried milk curls.


13) Dessert #2 (above) – Single origin Peruvian chocolate, wood roasted coffee, pedro ximenez prunes, shaved macadamia nuts, frozen chocolate.

14) Petit fours #1 (above) – Snickers, strawberry and watermelon lamington.


  

15) Petit fours #2 (above) – Fortune cookie.

Although it isn’t an apple-to-apple comparison but when I compare our dinner (July 2018) to the lunch that I had 1.5 years ago, Whitegrass certainly has since improved. Not that they were bad previously; They just got better. Truly deserving of their 1 Michelin star. I definitely recommend dining at Whitegrass.

On a totally different note, please pardon the lousy quality of my photographs. The camera of my handphone (iPhone 6S) has been spoilt for a while now and I really should get a new mobile phone but… I’ve been lazy. Oops. Was using a really old Samsung phone which couldn’t take quality photographs in dim setting. Sob. I honestly wish I had better photographs for sharing to do the food (better) justice.

WHITEGRASS
30 Victoria Street, Chijmes, #01-26/27, Singapore
6837 0402, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 9
Wed – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 21:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon & Sun

Dinner @ Samsugi Ramyeon 삼숙이라면 (Seoul, Korea)

August 4, 2018 in Korean by thywhaleliciousfay

One of my favourite Korean food has to be ramyeon. It’s like comfort food. I always crave for it even though I know I should cut down on my processed food. Haha. So when I was planning the food leg of my Korea trip (2017) with my crossfitters, I just had to slot in a ramyeon pit-stop. Keke.

And uh huh… No surprise that I got to know about 삼숙이라면 from episode 37 of Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’. It’s also through the show that I understood why 삼숙이라면 was highly recommended; What set 삼숙이라면 apart from the other ramyeon restaurants was its broth, spring onion and cooking method.

Instead of the usual water, broth made with katsuobushi and dried shiitake was used for a smokey unique taste. And instead of chopping the spring onion, its shredded as long as noodles. After which, much care was put into the shredded spring onion where it’s washed and dried to prevent sticking (to one another) due to moisture.

As for cooking, the chef-owner would heat his special soya sauce in the nickel pot before bringing the seasoning, various ingredients, ramyeon and broth to a boil. Pulling the noodles up every now and then too as the exposure to air made the noodle chewier.


So it was with much anticipation that I arrived at 삼숙이라면 with my crossfitters. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) 치즈라면, ₩5000 (above) – Ramyeon with cheese. When I was taking photograph of the restaurant’s interior, I took a glimpse of the kitchen and saw the chef using 2 types of cheese; Cheddar and mozzarella. It was a bit of the “oh” moment for me. And it’s also since then that I would use mozzarella whenever I made cheese ramyeon at home. Keke.


2) 해물짬뽕라면, ₩5000 (above) – Seafood ramyeon.

3) 라면 + 주먹밥 (Ramyeon + rice ball), ₩6000 comprised of:-



  

(A) 삼숙이라면 (above) – One could also order their set where it cost ₩500 cheaper to get the ramyeon and rice ball. And for the ramyeon flavour, we went with dumpling.

(B) 주먹밥 (above) – Rice ball. This cost ₩1500 if ordered as a-la carte.

Would I recommend 삼숙이라면? Certainly, unless one isn’t a fan of spring onion and bean sprout which the restaurant serve a pile of these on their ramyeon. And if one has plan to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, one may consider putting 삼숙이라면 just before or after as it’s a 15 to 18 minutes walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace.

SAMSUGI RAMYEON 삼숙이라면
220-2 Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울 종로구 종로11길 30. [지번] 인사동 220-2
+82 2 720 9711, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 08:30 – 21:30
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Lunch @ Honkaz 혼가츠 (Seoul, Korea)

July 31, 2018 in Korean by thywhaleliciousfay

Of the (many) restaurants that I bookmarked for visiting in Seoul, one of them was 혼가츠; A restaurant specialising in pork cutlet (tonkatsu). And if one followed my Korea-feasting-trip-2017 entries, one would easily guessed I learned about the restaurant from Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’. Episode 60 to be exact. Keke.

We reached the restaurant at 11.35am on a wet Sunday morning. I definitely recommended reaching early to beat the queue. And one should expect long queues just by the line of chairs prepared by the restaurant for waiting customers. And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), we ordered:-

  

1) Side dishes & sauces, Complimentary (above) – The restaurant offered 3 sauces to go with the cutlet; Strawberry, banana and cutlet tonkatsu sauces. Fruit sauces made with real fruits pulp. And the fourth unlabeled bottle is just soya sauce. Haha.


  

2) Cheese pork cutlet, ‎₩9000 (above) – The very dish I came to 혼가츠 for. And we enjoyed it so much that we ordered more because we couldn’t get enough of it. Yes, one more plate for sharing. The cheese pork cutlet had a good ratio of pork and molten cheese, which was created by wrapping pounded (aged) pork and perilla leaf around thick mozzarella cheese stick. It’s also through the Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’ that I learnt it’s a technique to slice through without the cheese overflowing/sliding off for the dish’s remarkable presentation. A must try.

3) Fresh sirloin pork cutlet, ₩7000 (above)

4) Cold buckwheat noodles in soup, ‎₩6000 (above)

I definitely recommend 혼가츠 for their cheese pork cutlet. Wwith the restaurant conveniently located in Hongdae, one could easily hop over for a meal in the midst of shopping. And honestly, when I am next back in Korea, I can’t wait to re-visit the restaurant for their signature dish.

HONKAZ 혼가츠
358-49 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울 마포구 와우산로21길 36-6. [지번] 서교동 358-49 1층 102호
+82 02 322 8850, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 21:30
Ambience: 7
Value: 7
Service: 7