Dinner @ Sushi Sabu-Roku

August 19, 2017 in Japanese

Months back, I learnt that the sushi chef at Tamaya Dining left to open his own sushi restaurant. And I immediately shared the news with my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) so that we could check out the place together. However, she got a little too anxious and went ahead without me as she couldn’t wait for me to be back from my holidays. Sob.

So when my IGGF raved about Sushi Sabu-Roku, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed because she and I share the same taste. So yes, my IGGF said she could return and have dinner with me. However, that didn’t materialize because 1 week before our scheduled dinner, the restaurant called my IGGF (who assisted with the reservation) and asked us to change our timing from 7pm to 6pm as they received reservation for a big group for 8pm. And do note that the restaurant asked us to change and not if we could change. Like what!?!

And since my IGGF was very disappointed with the way they handled the booking, I decided to check them out with another friend as I was still very much curious about their food.


So 4 months later, I called to make reservation for a weekday dinner as I was interested to have baby gizzard shad (shinko) which I knew was in the season from their instagram.

Reaching at 7.30pm, we were the last pair of customers to arrive at the restaurant for dinner. And for that, we were seated at the end of the counter, furthest away from owner-chef Koji Koike.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Appetiser (above) – Flat greenling, egg plant and seaweed.


(B) Dish #1 (above) – Threeline grunt (isaki). And it being grilled on skewer, the fish was oily with a nice smokey aroma.

(C) Dish #2 (above) – Mackerel.


(D) Dish #3 (above) – Shellfish (ishigakigai) from Hokkaido, served with raw eggplant.

(E) Dish #4 (above) – Corn from Hokkaido.

(F) Dish #5 (above) – Big eye snapper (kinmedai). The skin was unfortunately grilled till burnt.


(G) Dish #6 (above) – Tempura assortment of shrimp (ebi) and onion, and green chili.

(H) Dish #7 (above) – Grilled white asparagus.


  

(I) Dish #8 (above) – Soup with tuna belly and fish cake.

  
  
  

(J) Dish #9 (above) – Sushi assortment of striped jack (shima-aji), squid, medium fatty tuna (chutoro), big eye snapper (kinmedai), marinated tuna (maguro zuke), sea eel (anago) and sea urchin. Somehow, from the fourth piece, the rice in our sushi became smaller. Not sure if it was because we enquired how many more pieces there was. And the only reason we asked that was because dinner was painfully draggy. Definitely not because we were full.


(K) Dish #10 (above) – Honeydew and grapes.

Unfortunately, dinner was a huge let down. Ingredients weren’t worth the price tag and the interval between the dishes were painfully long. My friend and I got pretty impatient towards the end of our dinner because we would be waiting for our dish but head chef Koji san was deeply engrossed talking to his regulars; Waiting for 5 minutes is understandable if he needs to go one round when making everyone’s sushi. But we were waiting for more than 10 minutes with head chef Koji San not doing anything related to food preparation. It seemed that they have not adapted to what’s needed with the increased capacity. Was talking to the staff, and she happened to mention they recently added more chairs to increase capacity from 8 to 10.

And it was a great disappointment that I specially came for baby gizzard shad (shinko) after seeing many post pictures of theirs on Instagram and we were served none.

Will I recommend Sushi Sabu-Roku? I won’t totally cross them out yet. I am still trying to believe that it was an one-off incident that my friend and I had a bad dining experience. Instead of coming for their dinner menu, I would encourage one to try their lunch menu instead. Which I would return to try. Not anytime soon though. Maybe next year, same time. And I’ll be sure to state clearly in my reservation that I want to try the baby gizzard shad. Yes, by hook or crook.

SUSHI SABU-ROKU
36 Circular Road, Singapore
6532 0050
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tue – Fri : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 5
* Closed on Sun
Service: 7

Lunch @ The Kitchen at Bacchanalia

May 9, 2017 in French

It has been a while since my last atas nice meal. Not including those which I had during my recent overseas trips lah. Keke. Since I had no activities lined up for the weekend except for a baby shower, I decided to buy myself lunch. =) With that, I revisited my list of restaurants-to-try. And that’s when and how I was reminded of The Kitchen At Bacchanalia.

I had previously dined at the restaurant when they were at their former location in City Hall and known as Bacchanalia. I wasn’t impressed then. In fact, it was a very disappointing meal. However, I got curious (again) when I learnt the restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star after their relocation to Clarke Quay. Noting they had re-branded themselves as The Kitchen At Bacchanalia too.

With that, I went onto Chope to make my reservation. Fortunately, I could make reservation for Saturday despite only making it the night before. But what intended to be a solo meal became a lunch date for 2; Initiated lunch with my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) cause it felt like a long time since I last met her although it has only been a month. Ha. And thankfully, she was free for a spontaneous lunch.

And on the day of our lunch, we were the first group of diners to reach at 12pm. With 2 and 3 courses priced at $55 and $65 respectively, my IGGF and I went with 3 courses. And from the lunch menu, we ordered:-

1) Bread, Complimentary (above) – The sourdough was amazing. Imagine our joy when the staff continued to serve us more slices. 3 more in fact! Which we polished immediately once we were served the bread. The crust was thin and crisp (not the hard-to-chew-through type) while the bread was soft and stretchy within. I almost asked if I could buy a loaf home. So good.


2A) Pre-appetiser #1, Complimentary (top, above) – When the staff asked if we had any allergy, my IGGF and I didn’t think of mentioning our dietary restriction. For some odd reason, we thought our 3 courses lunch only comprised appetiser, main and dessert. We didn’t think there would be pre-appetiser. So when the staff came up to us with the beef tartar canapé, we were surprised. But of course, my IGGF got to have both (portions) to herself since I don’t take beef. And yes, she was loving it!

2B) Pre-appetiser #1, Complimentary (above) – And because I don’t take beef, the kitchen prepared beetroot canapé for me instead.


  

3) Pre-appetiser #2, Complimentary (above) – “And this (dish) is chef’s take on Singapore’s chilli crab”, the waiter said. When enquired further, the staff explained the brown ball perched on the flower crab shell was made with reduced crab broth and tapioca flour. And within the crispy ball was chilli crab flavoured paste. Really good!

4) Pre-appetiser #3, Complimentary (above) (above) – Warm frothy white asparagus broth with asparagus bits.

5) Appetiser with options of:-

(A) Shizuoka fruit tomato (above) – Marinated quinoa, daikon, consomme and tomato pearls vinaigrette.

(B) White peach (above) – French beans, almonds and foie gras snow.

6) Main with options of:-

(A) Wild seabream (above) – Pan roasted fillet, toasted kabocha puree, pickled pumpkin and vermouth sauce. I am not one to order a fish dish as main but with only 3 options (fish, beef and chicken), I decided to go with the sea bream. And I was happy with it! I especially liked the gravy.

(B) Braised short rib (above) – With roasted king oyster mushroom, kohlrabi, fresh wasabi, roasting juices.

7) Dessert with options of:-

(A) ‘Gariguette’ strawberry breton (above) – Breton biscuit, yuzu mousseline with strawberry sorbet.

  

(B) Tea/coffee with petit fours (above) – And for petit fours, we were served 2 white chocolate balls. “Curry and mango”, the staff said. And indeed, there was the very faint taste of curry while the sauce within was mango.

My IGGF and I left the restaurant feeling very happy and contented with our lunch. Our dining experience was definitely made sweeter with the unexpected pre-appetisers and discount of $20! Apparently The Kitchen At Bacchanalia is running a promotion with OCBC (till 31 July 2017) where diners would be given a free upgrade from 2 courses set lunch to 3 courses set lunch for payment made with OCBC debit or credit card. So yeah! Thanks to the promotion, lunch was very value-for-money considering that we were dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant too.

That said, head chef Ivan Brehm who led the team to their Michelin star is no longer with the restaurant. It has since been taken over by head chef Luke Armstrong.

Will I recommend The Kitchen At Bacchanalia? I would.

THE KITCHEN AT BACCHANALIA
39 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
9179 4552, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Mon, 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 @ Pyxiemoss

October 30, 2016 in European

There was a brief period when I couldn’t find any interesting places to add to my list of eateries-to-check-out. So when I chanced upon Pyxiemoss on instagram after (what I called as) my drought period, I got excited. I was sold with the picture of their housemade squid ink pasta topped with sea urchin. Keke.

I immediately texted my IGGF (InstaGram GilrFriend)! And with that, reservation was made through Chope.

Received a call from the restaurant two days before our dinner. And it was a pretty hilarious embarrassing tele-conversation. The person on the other end introduced himself as the general manager of Pyxiemoss. However, I made him repeat himself twice before giving up because the name (of the place) just rang no bell. So when he continued by wanting to confirm our reservation for Friday, it then dawned on me that it was Pyxiemoss, the restaurant. Haha.

Thank goodness I didn’t have my defensive tone on, which I sometimes do when I pick up calls from non-identified number. Phew! That said, Chope also sent a mobile text on the day of dinner asking for confirmation which I was to send a reply via text. Got so kiasu, anot. Ha.

Pyxiemoss was a 4 to 6 minutes walk from Clarke Quay MRT station. And while I thought I could easily identify the restaurant while multi-tasking on my phone, I was wrong. With no unit number displayed and the name of the restaurant embossed on the brass door handle which was almost non-visible, I walked past the unit twice. So unless one walked along the main road, one may just walk past the restaurant unknowingly. Yes, like me.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3), we ordered:-


  

1) The tribbiani, $15 (above) – Duck liver mousse, brown butter, schmaltz, duck heart, dates, focaccia, parsley.

2) Rad-ish, $8 (above) – Onion soup, daikon, yuzu miso, red radish.

3) Mother’s lamb, $18 (above) – Lamb neck, belly and heart, mint, grapes, herb brioche.

4) Joshua prawn, $23 (above) – Prawn, salted egg, curry leaves.

5) Snickerz, $10 (above) – Chocolate cake, chocolate peanuts, brittle, gula melaka cream, Thai basil.

6) Pine colada, $10 (above) – Coconut, pineapple, granola, olive oil, pineapple caramel ice cream, coriander.

7) The cheese, $15 (above) – St. felicien, Japanese port, grapes, honey ice cream, coriander, rye bread.

In all honesty, my IGGF and I weren’t impressed. Firstly, we were upset we couldn’t get the sea urchin pasta which we came for. When we asked the staff about carbohydrates options, we were told that there isn’t any on the menu; The food was meant to be shared, and chef felt eating carbohydrates would deter that as it causes bloating. Sob.

Secondly, the few dishes which we ordered fell short of our expectations. So much so that my IGGF and I were discussing of heading to elsewhere to fill up our stomachs after trying four items from the savoury menu. But after much deliberation, I got my IGGF to stay and give the restaurant a second chance by trying the desserts. Which I am glad we did.

The desserts totally saved our dining experience from unremarkable to not-too-bad. My IGGF and I were impressed with the chocolate cake which was chewy-ly good. It was so good that it gave us faith to try the other desserts. We were also told the desserts were gluten free!

So do I recommend Pyxiemoss? Not for filling up one’s stomach, that is. But if one is looking for part two, then yes. I enjoyed their desserts. In fact, after 10.30pm, there’s a bar menu too.

PYXIEMOSS
43 North Canal Road, Singapore
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sat : 17:00 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun