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 @ FOC Restaurant

December 24, 2014 in Spanish

With FOC Restaurant, Michelin starred Nandu Jubany has launched his debut outside of Spain. FOC being pronounced as ‘fock’ (that’s what I heard as when I called to make reservation, or was it ‘fog’), and not F.O.C.

So yes, reservation was made 2 weeks in advance for a weekday evening for 3.

I meant to check them out 2 months ago, but our then reservation got messed up. Was pretty (in fact, very) sure our then reservation was accepted, but we were turned away when we turned up at the entrance cause of a private event. Definitely not cool.

But I was hard up about wanting to dine here, so a second attempt was made. Thus, this visit. Ha! So… To make sure one’s reservation is on, one must receive the confirmation call from the restaurant the day before. If not, ring them up on the day itself to double check! =)


My friends arrived early at 6.30pm and feedback that the restaurant was empty. But when I reached at 7pm, they were already running at 60% capacity! And I liked the ambience, especially their ingenious idea of using head moulds (which I read were heads of the owners), traditional Spanish wine decanters (porrons) and pepper grinders to light up the place.

And in my opinion, I felt we were given the best seats in the house. Ha. We took counter seats and were seated at the end where we could watch the main action. I say main action because it was where the head chef (I overheard the staff calling him “Cap”) would do the final touch before sending the dishes out. Awesome view. Keke. And to my delight, there were hooks beneath the counter table for customers like me who need to hang my heavy and bulky bag. =)

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

1) Vieiras a la brasa con caldo de bonito y caviar de soja, $16 (2 pieces) (above) – Grilled scallops with bonito stock and homemade soy caviar. As there were 3 of us, we ordered 1.5 portions. Gigantic pieces of lightly seared scallops presented on a big shell which went well with the soy caviar.


2) Bunuelos de bacalao con pure de manzana, $12 (5 pieces) (above) – Cod fish puff fritters with green apple puree. Thinking we would be served something similar to fish tempura (haha), FOC surprised us with airy, fluffy balls. This was interesting although 1 of my dining partner did not like it. I guess he wanted to see the physical pieces of fish. Well, I don’t blame him. He was pretty hungry since he reached (early) at 6.30pm.

3) “Cansalada” confitada con pure de coliflor, $14 (4 pieces) (above) – Confited pork belly with cauliflower puree. I did not like this. While the meat was tender and almost melt-in-the-mouth, it was too fatty. I did not like that one of the crispy skin was red. An indication that the pig skin with the red stamp was used. Something which I personally prefer not to have / be used.

4) Gazpacho de sandia con helado de aceite de olive ahumado, $12 (above) – Watermelon “gazpacho” with charcoal smoked olive ice cream. A cold dish, my dining partners liked this, but not quite for me. I couldn’t quite make out of the complex taste. But I appreciated the initiative by the staff as the dish was spilt into 3 portions for our easy sharing.

5) Cochifrito, $14 (2 pieces) (above) – Crispy pork tacos.

6) Bocadito de carrillera de ternera con nueces, $16 (2 pieces) (above) – Braised beef cheek with nuts and homemade grilled steam buns. I don’t take beef, but my dining partners said this was really good. It was also recommended by the staff as their must-order.


7) Bocata de foie-gras a la brasa y shitake marinado, $22 (2 pieces) (above) – Grilled foie-gras with marinated shitake and green apple. Similarly, we ordered 1.5 portions. I really liked this! From the crisply fried buttery buns to the melt-in-the-mouth pan fried foie gras. Sinfully good.

8) Pulpo a la gallega, $22 (above) – Octopus Galician style, prepared with paprika, olive oil and potatoes.

9) Chuletitas de cordero a la brasa con berenjena a la brasa, $22 (2 pieces) (above) – Lamb ribs with yogurt and eggplant. Another must try!

10) Huevos estrellado con chorizo, $10 (above) – “Scramble before you eat” eggs with Spanish “chorizo”.

11) Arroz negro con mariscos y “all l oli”, $22 (above) – Black Mediterranean squid ink rice with seafood and garlic mayonnaise. This was really good although it was more on the wet side. We were left with 3 more spoonfuls when the head chef asked if he could clear our pan, which of course I turned him down (cause we wanted to finish it all) with a wide smile. And I’m not too sure if he took a double look cause he’s happy to see us excited over his food or because of my (possibly) ink-stained teeth. Haha.


12) FOC hamburguesa de chocolate, $12 (above) – FOC chocolate burger. A cute dessert where bun was made of vanilla ice cream coated with white chocolate, patty of chocolate mousse, cheese was mango and tomato being represented by strawberry.


13) Tarta tatin, $8 (above) – Apple pie with ice cream. This was good although the ‘skin’ of salted caramel was a little too intense when consumed alone. And I realised the ball was meant to be presented as an apple. However, the stick/ stalk was accidentally left out as the head chef happened to be busy at the stove to plate our dessert properly before sending it out.

14) Espuma de crema catalana, Complimentary (above) – “Crema catalane” FOC style. We were surprised to have this on the house. Did I charm the head chef with my (possibly ink-stained) smile? Haha. $12 on the menu. With ice cream beneath the thick later of foam, this was their version of creme brulee. A bit like eating cloud. Ha.

It was a good meal although a little expensive. But that’s only because we ordered a lot. I wanted to try more but the stomach couldn’t take in more food. Haha. Glutton me at work.

I always enjoy my meals especially with a good view. This time being able to see preparation of the dishes in kitchen and seeing how the head chef goes around making sure everything was done properly. And they mean business when they say ‘charcoal grilled’ for there was an oven with charcoal within.

When we received our confirmation call, we were told the table would be taken back by 9.15pm for the next seating. And the 2 hours were more than enough to eat comfortably if one was worried. So I say, grab the phone and make reservation!

FOC RESTAURANT BY NANDU JUBANY
40 Hongkong Street, Singapore
6100 4040, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Fri : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Thur : 18:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Fri – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun
  

Dinner @ La Taperia

October 31, 2014 in Spanish

And in all honesty, I meant to check out this restaurant weeks ago. However, we postponed our dinner to last Tuesday due to some drama. Okie, maybe shouldn’t use the word ‘drama’.

So La Taperia was originally known as Terry’s Singapore. A joint venture between Les Amis Group and Manila based Spanish chef Juan Carlos de Terry. However, on the day of our supposed visit, I read from The Straits Times that chef Terry had withdrawn from the collaboration as he was not comfortable with the inconsistencies from his restaurants in Manila. And with that, I thought it was better to postpone our visit.

But drama aside, what’s more important would be the dining experience; The food, the service, the ambience.

Located in the newly renovated wing of Shaw Centre, the restaurant was seeing a good crowd despite the quietness of the wing. Guess not many has started exploring this side of Shaw Centre since not all shops have opened for business.

With a reservation made just 30 minutes before our arrival, we were given high tables. La Taperia would be more of a restaurant than a tapas bar. And I felt it was a pity that there was no counter seats for us to watch the chefs in action.

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

1) Tasting menu, $95 comprised of:-


(A) Capricho de santona (above) – Piquillo pepper stuffed with tuna, bound with anchovy remoulade. A cold dish, this was really good! The pepper was definitely not spicy and went really well with the tuna. A must try.

(B) Gambas al ajillo (above) – Spicy and garlicky prawns cooked in extra virgin olive oil. Prawns were big, fresh and succulent. I really enjoyed biting into the crunchy (prawn) meat with lots of the diced garlic. And while we were finishing our dish, the staff recommended getting the grilled baguette ($4) to dip into the sauce, which we did! And it was so good.


(C) Croquetas de cochinillo confitado (above) – Crisp-tender suckling pig bechamel croquettes. Well fried, the filling was smooth although we couldn’t taste the suckling pig.

(D) Champinones con jamon al ajillo (above) – Fresh mushrooms and garlic silvers sauteed in extra olive oil with jamon serrano crowned with an organic egg yolk. Upon served, the staff asked if he should mix the egg for us. To which, we politely turned him down. We noticed the egg was already broken, but that did not matter. This was a pretty straight-forward dish of mushrooms, fried garlic, cured ham with a runny egg.

(E) Salpicao de buey (above) – Angus striploin cubes slowly cooked in unique fresh oyster sauce, a creation of Juan Carlos de Terry. I don’t eat beef but my girlfriend said these were tender which went very well with the sauce.

(F) Chistorrado de pollo (above) – Chicken, chistorra sausage and valencian rice cooked in a luscious sauce of roasted red capsicum and piquillo peppers crowned with melted cheese. This seemed to be a dryer rendition where rice was slightly hard. Reminded us of our Chinese claypot rice. I liked the chicken pieces, but not the sausages which were too salty. And of course, the good part would be the burnt parts. However, as we ordered quite a fair bit, we could not finish the dish. But it was of really great service that the staff offered to help us scarp the burnt parts and transfer to a plate for our ease.


(G) Crema catalana (above) – A Terry’s style catalan cream enriched with mango bits and its crisp a la minute caramelized topping. I liked that every mouthful had generous amount of sweet mango bits.

(H) Marquesa de chocolate (above) – Chocolate marquise topped with baked almond praline. This was a thick slab of rich and dense chocolate. It was a little hard to slice through, but it was not a problem after we let it sit for a short while.

2) Pulpo a feira con pimenton de la vera, $18 (regular) (above) – The quintessential way of cooking octopus in Galicia. Topped on a bed of potato slices, some pieces of the octopus and potato were salty from what seemed to be due to uneven sprinkling of salt. This was also a little oily.

3) Super-cochinillo confit, $45 (above) – Unique suckling pig confit creation served with Calanda peaches, caramelised shallots and steakhouse potatoes. Upon served, the staff asked if we needed assistance which we nodded our heads to. And the staff assisted to divide the meat into three portions, leaving behind just the L-shaped bone. Meat was tender and moist, while skin was crispy with a good amount of fats for flavour. Nice!

4) Lobster paella, $58 (above) – These baby lobsters were flown in earlier in the morning and were offered as special of the day. Lobster meat was sweet and juicy, while rice was moist and thus more flavorful as compared to ‘chistorrado de pollo’. Nice!

5) Sangria blanco, $14 (above, left) – Tinto wine, brandy, cointreau, seasonal fruits and lemonade.

6) Sangria rose, $14 (above, right) – Blanco wine, brandy, cointreau, seasonal fruits and lemonade.

We ladies thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The food were reasonably priced and good. Will definitely recommend coming in a group of at least 3 to order the tasting menu and a few a-la carte items in order to try almost everything without feeling too full.

And it was not just the food that was great, but the service too. We were mostly attended by 2 staff. One whom we suspect should be the manager (although there was no distinction in uniform) and a young lad. They were attentive and allowed us to feel very welcomed and at ease.

One of my girlfriend ordered a pot of green tea, which she requested for refill of hot water a few times. And it was only after our dinner that we realised they had actually been giving her a new pot. The green tea was basically a pot of hot water with a tea bag. And we know a tea bag is only good for one pot worth of water before it becomes diluted. So yes, am sharing this not for others to abuse their good service, but rather to show how impressed we were at the service provided. And we were only charged for 1 pot!

So yes, having craving for Spanish cuisine? Do check La Taperia out! It helps that they are also centrally located within Orchard. There’s even a balcony with high counter table, overlooking Pacific Plaza, for those who wish for a more romantic dinner. Although I probably say the alfresco seats are more suitable if one is going for finger foods or drinks.

LA TAPERIA
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #02-10/11, Singapore
6737 8336, Website
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Thur, Sun : 18:30 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Fri – Sat : 18:30 – 01:00 (Dinner)
Service: 8