Dim sum @ Jade

September 18, 2017 in Chinese

My girlfriend was raving about the food at Jade after her dinner at the restaurant. And since I was craving for dim sum, I thought it would be a good idea for us to head over to Jade. Thankfully my girlfriend didn’t mind returning too. Keke. And for the a-la carte dim sum buffet, Jade has 2 seatings; 11am and 1.15pm. My girlfriend assisted to call and make reservation for the later slot.

Located in The Fullerton Hotel, I arrived slightly early at 12.50pm on the day of our dim sum date. But it was weird there was no staff stationed at the receptionist stand. So I stood around with what looked like fellow customers who have arrived early and was waiting for the appearance of a staff. And at 1.05pm, after the tables were set and ready for second seating, the receptionist finally appeared.

And it was only during our visit that I realised Jade underwent a recent refurbishment with pastel blue wallpaper. Apparently the colour was chosen because it reflected the lustre of jade.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Dim sum with options of:


(A) 01: Deep fried taro paste wrapped with truffles and mushrooms (above)


(B) 02: Crispy prawn dumpling (above)


(C) 03: Pan-fried seafood bean curd roll (above)

(D) 05: Pan-fried radish cake (above)

  

(E) 06: Pan-fried minced pork and chives “guo tie” (above)


(F) 07: Baked fresh milk bun (above)

(G) 08: Steamed glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf (above) – With chicken and mushrooms.

(H) 09: Steamed crystal shrimp dumpling (above)

(I) 10: Steamed pork siew mai with abalone (above)

(J) 11: Steamed pork rib with black bean sauce (above)

(K) 12: Steamed chicken feet with oyster sauce (above) – This was pretty good.


(L) 15: Steamed osmanthus char siew pau (above)

(M) 16: Steamed glutinous rice roll in sesame dressing (above)

(N) 17: Steamed superior stock xiao long pau (above)

(O) 18: Steamed dried longan sponge cake (above)


(P) 19: Steamed green tea custard bun (above)


(Q) 20: Golden ‘man tou’ stuffed with chilli crab meat (above) – Limited to one piece per diner.

2) Soup (one serving per diner) with options of:-

(A) 21: Braised bird’s nest with truffles, egg white in superior broth (above)

(B) 24: Double-boiled winter melon with bamboo mushrooms (above)

3) Appetiser with options of:

(A) 26: Crispy honey vinaigrette sliced sea bass (above)

(B) 28: Roasted five-spiced and sea salt pork belly (above, left)

(C) 31: Honey-glazed “char siew” (above, right)

(D) 29: Deep-fried prawns coated with wasabi mayonnaise (above)


(E) 34: Deep-fried century egg (above)

4) Main course with options of:

(A) 36: Stir-fried french beans with minced garlic (above)

(B) 42: Sauteed pork ribs with coffee sauce (above)

5) Congee/noodles/rice with options of:

(A) 48: Wok-fried silver needle noodles in hometown style (above)

(B) 52: Boiled congee with lobster and dried scallop (above)

6) Dessert with options of:

(A) 53: Dessert of the Day (cold) (above)

(B) 55: Oven-baked egg tart (above)

With only 1.5 hours for our a-la carte dim sum buffet, it was a little rushed as my friends and I attempted catch up while trying to eating lots at the same time. Buffet mah.

One should note that the kitchen takes some time to prepare the food after passing the staff the order slip. I reckon it’s because most tables are giving their order slips at almost the same time. So when one is trying to order more before ‘last order’, one should do it earlier for the food to come out faster and to allow oneself sufficient time to enjoy the food. That said, my friends and I weren’t too impressed with food. It was good but it didn’t wow-ed us.

One should also be careful of the units; Piece and quantity. The order slip indicated the chicken feet was by pieces. So when we first ordered, we wrote ’2′ and were served a basket with 2 pieces. And because we really enjoyed it, we re-ordered as 4 (pieces). But we were taken aback when we were given 4 baskets. Hmm…

Would I recommend Jade? Well… Honestly, I had better dim sum experiences elsewhere.

JADE
1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel, Ground Level, Singapore
6733 8388, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Sat – Sun : 11:00 – 15:00 (Dim sum)
Value: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Service: 7

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: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.