Dinner @ Candlenut [Revisit]

April 14, 2018 in Asian

Yup!!! My string of re-visits continues. It was a very belated birthday celebration for me by my girlfriends, and I got to choose the venue. So yes, I requested for us to dine at Candlenut. Since my last visit in 2014, Candlenut has relocated to Dempsey and earned a Michelin star yearly since the first edition of Michelin Guide Singapore (2016).

Located in COMO Dempsey, the restaurant is fairly accessible. Just a 5 to 8 minutes walk from the bus stop (that’s right in front of Dempsey). My girlfriend who drove feedback it was fairly easy to find a parking lot too.

In a group of 5, we arrived at Candlenut on a Saturday evening. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Crackers, Complimentary (above) – Subsequent additional bowl is chargeable.


2) Kueh pie tee, $12 (4 cups) (above, left) – Homemade shell, braised local turnip, pork belly, prawns. And since there’s 5 of us, the staff assisted to add 1 kueh pie tee shell at $3.


3) Charcoal grilled snake river farm kurobuta pork neck satay, $16 (4 skewers) (above, right) – With kicap manis glaze. Similarly, we ordered an extra stick for $4.


4) Itek tim soup, $14 (above) – Local duck meatball, salted mustard cabbage, cherry tomato, taro stem. And the portion was meant as 1 bowl per person.

5) Blue swimmer crab curry, $30 (above) – Turmeric, galangal, kaffir lime leaf.

6) Buah keluak of braised local chicken, $22 (above) – With peranakan signature black nut sambal.

7) King tiger prawn, $28 (above) – Gula melaka cocount sauce, lemongrass, Thai basil.

8) Baked cod fish fillet, $28 (above) – With kicap manis glaze.

9) Sambal baby sweet potato leaves, $16 (above) – With dried shrimp.

10) Brown rice, $3 (above) – For a bowl of brown rice, I must say the amount given is appalling. The bowl containing the rice wasn’t big, yet it was not filled to the brim! The bowl was only half filled. Come on…

11) Steamed caramel banana cake, $14Banana compote, gula melaka ice cream.


12) Candlenut’s ice kachang, $15 (above) – Azuki red beans, bandung, rose and pandan shaved ice.

13) Candlenut’s classic chendol cream, $12 (above) – Homemade pandan jelly, gula melaka.

14) Buah keluak ice cream, $15 (above) – Salted caramel, valrhona warm chocolate espuma, chilli.

Since photographs can be deceiving, I’m going to be really honest by saying it upfront that the portion was ridiculously small. The portion works for small groups (and by that, I mean pair) since one could thus enjoy variety by getting to order many dishes (in order) to fill one’s stomach. Ie, the ‘small portion’ which only came in one size (ie, no small, medium or large) didn’t work for us since we were in a big group. I didn’t enjoy the meal as much since I was constantly worrying if I would deprive my friends of sampling the dish if I took more.

So yes, I didn’t think the meal was value-for-money since it was pretty pricey for the small serving. But price aside, the food was good as I last remembered. Would I recommend Candlenut? Well… It was an enjoyable meal though the ‘small portion’ certainly left a deep impression. Not in a good way, if you were still wondering. But I guess an option to go around it would be to opt for their ah-ma-kase menu that’s $88 per head!

CANDLENUT
17A Dempsey Road, COMO Dempsey, Singapore
1800 304 2288, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Thur, Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 6
Fri – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Service: 7

Lunch @ Ginza Sushi Ichi [Revisit]

December 5, 2017 in Japanese

After a satisfying meal at Shinji, it got me craving for more sushi. And because I am one who don’t like returning to the same eatery (too soon), I decided on 1 Michelin-starred Sushi Ichi. I mean, my last meal at Sushi Ichi was in 2014; Before they relocated and before they were awarded Michelin star. So yes, it was time to return to Sushi Ichi. =)

Through Chope, I made reservation for weekend lunch. And I thought I should also add that it was a solo affair. I guess I was reminiscing much of my solo Tokyo trips. Kekeke. Having had chef Yukinori Kawakami on my previous meal at Sushi Ichi, I made a request for him again.

With Sushi Ichi located in Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, it was easily accessible. Just a mere 5 minutes walk from Orchard MRT station!

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

1) Lunch omakase, $250 comprised of:-

(A) Appetiser (above) – Sweet shrimp (ama-ebi), mixed mushroom with chrysanthemum, and octopus braised in soya sauce.


(B) Assorted sashimi (2) (above) – Jack fish and shell fish.

(C) Dish #1 (above) – Japanese belt fish served with chestnut tempura. I always thought belt fish had many bones cause of the one I previously had, but the one served at Sushi Ichi had none. Such a joy to eat! And the chestnut was very sweet. I enjoyed it very much!

(D) Dish #2 (above) – Striped jack (shima-aji), shabu shabu.

  
  
  
  
  

(E) Nigiri sushi (8 pieces) (above) – Assortment of grouper (kue), big-eye snapper (kinmedai), marinated tuna, baby white shrimp (shiro-ebi), seared premium fatty tuna (otoro aburi) and sea eel (anago), egg omlette (tamago), and rice bowl with sea urchin and salmon roe. Since I don’t count the number of sushi during my meal, it’s only when I am writing up my review that I realised the egg omelette and rice bowl formed part of the 8 nigiri sushi. Hmm…

(F) Roll sushi (above) – It was only from watching chef Kawakami san make the roll sushi that I realised red vinegar was used to season nigiri sushi’s sushi rice (shari) while white vinegar was used for the roll sushi’s. Interesting.

(G) Miso soup (above) – Soup with yam.

(H) Dessert (above)

While I was having my lunch, I couldn’t help but drool over what my neighbours were having. They had dishes like abalone, crab, etc. So when I was making payment, I enquired about the different menus. And the staff explained the quality of ingredients varied according to price. So for the lunch options, the premium ingredient in $100 Tubaki, $150 Botan and Lunch Omakase ($240) courses were lean tuna (akami), medium fatty tuna (chutoro) and premium fatty tuna (otoro) respectively. And for me who was eyeing my neighbour’s dishes, I would need to get the Dinner Omakase course at $430.

Would I recommend Sushi Ichi? Well… Honestly, it didn’t give me the ‘wow’ factor. But at least one would assured that Sushi Ichi won’t let one down (too much).

GINZA SUSHI ICHI
320 Orchard Road, Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, #01-04, Singapore
6235 5514, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Service: 8
 
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant

September 26, 2017 in Chinese

When 2 people happened to recommend Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck over a course of 2 weeks, that was a sign that I had better check out the restaurant. And the opportunity came when my colleagues and I were to arrange a get-together, and the cuisine had to be Chinese for the uncle colleague in the group. Keke. Thus, with everyone’s consensus, reservation was made for 5 for a weekday dinner.

Located conveniently in Paragon, one need not worry about finding parking lot if one chose to drove. Instead, one just need to worry about the expensive parking fee. zZZz.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), my colleagues and I ordered:-


1) Fried century egg with shrimp paste, $12 (above) – This was like the Chinese’s version of scotch egg. Pretty good.


2) Chinese yam with blueberries sauce, $12 (above) – Served as a cold dish, this unfortunately tasted weird. We couldn’t make out of the unique combination.

3) Fried squid with pepper & salt, $12 (above)


4) Barbecue pork with honey sauce, $27 (medium) (above)

5) Stewed pork collar & lettuce with shrimp sauce in claypot, $20 (small) (above)


  

6) Braised spinach beancurd with assorted mushrooms, $20 (small) (above)

7) Steamed turbot fish with superior soy sauce, $15/100g (above)

8) Beijing style roasted duck, $88 (whole):-

  
  

(A) Style #1 (above) – Wrapped with pancake. Advanced order is required for this dish. And unknown to me, the chef actually stationed himself near our table to skin the roasted duck. I didn’t know because the action took place behind me. Sob! And it’s weird that we specially came for the duck dish but we were not too impressed by it. Uncle colleague said the meat texture felt slightly powdery.

(B) Style #2 (above) – And we chose to have the remaining meat fried with e-fu noodles.


  

9) Double boiled fish maw soup with shark’s cartilage, $30 (above) – One of my must orders at Chinese restaurant is double boiled soup. And I went with the fish maw soup as it’s also the restaurant’s signature dish. And the soup was thick and rich with a generous amount of ingredients. Really good. Strongly recommended.

10) Double boiled hashima with lotus seed, $10 (above)

Although we weren’t impressed by every dishes, it was a satisfying dinner for us at Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant. Though I would strongly encourage one to look at the ‘advanced order menu’ before making reservation; There were a few dishes (like the charcoal grilled quail and crispy chicken stuffed with glutinous rice) which interested me but we couldn’t order as advanced order was required. Sob.

IMPERIAL TREASURE SUPER PEKING DUCK RESTAURANT
2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #03-05, Singapore
6732 7838, Website
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Sat : 11:00 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Value: 7
Sun : 10:30 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Service: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)