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 @ Bōruto Singapore

January 15, 2017 in European, Japanese

Pictures of Boturo’s dishes occasionally appeared on my Instagram feed. And because I liked what I saw, I texted my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) and got her interested too. Keke. So yes, reservation was made through Chope for a Friday night. And in my reservation, I requested for counter seats too.

Boruto was a 8 to 12 minutes walk from Raffles Place MRT station. It was drizzling on the night of our dinner, and I was thankful I had my umbrella as the route from Raffles Place MRT station was not sheltered.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), we ordered:-

1) Somen bread sticks, $6.80 (above) – Deep fried Japanese ‘mee sua’ tossed with seaweed, sesame powder & sea salt. This dish shouldn’t be on the menu at all. Since my IGGF and I were sitting at the counter, it meant we could see what happened at the kitchen. And my heart dropped when I saw the staff take out a handful of noodles and drop it into the oil. I guess we were misled by the word ‘bread stick’. We were anticipating fried dough fritters coated with noodle pieces. Give this a miss.

2) Ahi tataki, $12.80 (above) – Sliced tuna tataki with black olives, Japanese leek, chili & wasabi yuzu dressing. Besides the slightly spicy dressing, we enjoyed this.

3) Tako truffled, $22.80 (above) – Octopus from Hyogo in usu-zukuri style with black truffles. The dish’s clean taste reminded me of Aoki‘s white fish with truffle. The only difference was that Boruto’s version was with octopus, which we felt was sliced a little too thin. But a must order, nonetheless.

4) Hotate to cauliflower no grill, $18.80 (above) – Grilled Hokkaido scallops, cauliflower cream, curried cauliflower florets. Scallops were big and juicy, although I was slightly disappointed to see just 2 pieces. The scallops looked oddly sadlonely, served on a big shell.


5) Shirauo mentai tempura, $12.80 (above) – White bait marinated with spicy rod roe served in tempura style with sauce remoulade. This was fried to perfection! A must order.


6) Puffs champignon, $10.80 (above) -Fried mushroom puffs with truffled puree, sweet paprika mayonnaise.

7) Foie gras + aka miso, $18.80 (above) – Roasted foie gras with buttered sweet corn and burnt aka miso. And I certainly didn’t expect foie gras to work well with red miso paste. A must try.

8) Tori-take roll, $15.80 (above) – Crispy chicken roulade stuffed with shiitake jam, drizzled with sauce chinase. With most of the dishes served in bite size, the chicken pieces felt oddly big in our mouth. We reckon this would be better if it came in smaller size; Rolled more tightly.

9) Uni pasta v1.1, $35.80 (above) – Braised cappellini in sea urchin and yuzu sock, topped with fresh sea urchin roe & Hokkaido white wasabi. My IGGF and I intended to order our noodles at the later part of our dinner. But when we were placing the first batch of our orders at 7.10pm, the staff informed they were left with the last portion of sea urchin. What! Upon hearing that, my IGGF and I immediately ordered it. Haha. But with this, I concluded pasta with sea urchin is just a novelty. It looked good but failed the taste department. And there was a slight bitter after taste; Innards were not removed fully.

10) Truffle hiyashi somen, $15.80 (above) – Cold somen tossed with confit egg yolk & shio konbu, topped with truffle molecules & sakura ebi. My IGGF was excited about the truffle molecules. However, we couldn’t taste any truffle when we bit into the small balls. Instead, the truffle taste came mostly from the sauce. And frankly, this dish was brilliant. A must order. And one could also top up with additional sea urchin (if there’s still sea urchin left).

11) Warabi mochi, $6.80 (above) – Jelly-like confection made from bracken starch & coated with kinako. We were on the fence for this. The mochi tasted as though it didn’t set properly during the making of it as it lacked that ‘bounce’ texture.


12) Truffle creme brulee, $8.80 (above) – Truffled milk custard with burnt sugar glaze. Truffle oil was added to the caramelised sugar layer, and it was fascinating to taste the very faint truffle taste.


13) Chocolate surprise, $12.80 (above) – Half cake, half souffle, liquid center. Served with homemade vanilla ice cream & crushed peanuts. A very rice chocolate cake. A must order.

I definitely recommend Boruto. Except for the 2 misses (somen bread sticks and uni pasta), we were very happy with our orders. Our plates were cleared promptly, and the staff didn’t allow our glasses of water to go empty. The restaurant’s peace was slightly disturbed though when a group of ladies came in later, sat at the high table behind our counter seats, and told at the top of their voices. It was so bad that the pair sitting beside me requested for a change in seats.

BORUTO SINGAPORE
80 South Bridge Road, Golden Castle Building, #01-01, Singapore
6532 0418, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Tapas bar)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 16:30 – 00:00 (Sake bar)
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Dehesa Singapore

December 3, 2016 in Spanish

Catching up over a table filled with many plates of good food is always a good idea. And for our next meet up, I suggested to my girlfriends to have Spanish cuisine as it has been a while since we last had Spanish. Or wait, it was a long while since I last met this group of girlfriends. o_O

Reservation was made using Chope. Oh yes, it was one of those days where I was feeling too lazy to talk. Haha. And it was a good thing reservation was made through Chope; We had to postpone our dinner to a week later, and I amended our reservation details with just a few clicks. Keke.

However, on the day of our dinner, 1 was still stuck at work at 7.30pm. So it turned out to be an intimate dinner affair between 2 ladies. But still over a table filled with many plates of good food. =p

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

1) Duck hearts on toast, $14 (above) – We realised the duck hearts were not fully cooked. Ie, it was slightly raw in the centre. But we liked it that way. It introduced a good ‘crunch’, without it being too tough. I especially enjoyed eating the toast which was thoroughly soaked with the gravy. A must order.


2) Octopus, $28 (above) – Served on a bed of mashed potato, octopus was soft without the rubbery texture. Decent! My girlfriend especially liked the layer of lard served on top of the octopus!

3) Clams, $24 (above) – In sherry and jamon.


4) Crispy pig’s head, $28 (above) – With egg yolk, capers. Thankfully chef Jean-Philippe Patruno saved us from the gruesome sight of a pig head by serving this in the form of a really big fried meatball. Ha! And this was really good. If only the yolk that came with it wasn’t served to us broken. Sob!


5) Dehesa platter, $42 (above) – Having seen a few of these coming out from the kitchen during our dinner, my girlfriend and I decided to order cold cuts too. We intended to order the jamon joselito ($38) but decided to get variety with $4 more. A wise decision, indeed. Keke. Everything was so good. Including the bread which was soft and fluffy. A must order.

6) Arroz negro paella, $52 (above) – With squids, clams, prawns.

7) Chocolat, $14 (above) – With olive oil, salt. This wasn’t very impressive. Give it a miss and try the other desserts.


8) Torijas, $14 (above) – With plum, creme fraiche.

Would I recommend Dehesa? A definite yes. Except for the chocolate ice cream, every dish was a hit! My girlfriend and I were simply enjoying ourselves. Even though we over-ate and had serious bloating after dinner. Haha.

However, chef Jean-Philippe Patruno was the only person in the kitchen that Friday night. So when the crowd came in at 8pm, our orders took significantly longer to be served. And it was interesting that the staff was particularly concerned if my girlfriend and I could finish our food.

When we confirmed at 9pm that our 3rd friend wasn’t coming, the staff went on to say she will cancel our remaining order instead of asking if we wanted to proceed. And I must had been very baffled because the word “cancel” simply didn’t register with me. Thankfully chef JP came in the nick of time and saved us by serving our next dish! Please know we ladies could also eat as much (or even more) than guys. Keke.

And it’s read from their website that Dehesa is the only front-runner of nose-to-tail eating revolution in Singapore. With made-from-scratch and robustly flavoured alternative cut and offal delicacies, as well as succulent classic cut specialities with a commitment to whole animal usage.

DEHESA RESTAURANT SINGAPORE
12 North Canal Road, Singapore
6221 7790, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 17:30 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun