Tag Archives: foie gras

Yum cha at Golden Peony Cantonese Restaurant

Siew mai – pork dumplings topped with whole prawn

I woke up with a craving for yum cha/dim sum today. D had recently been to Golden Peony and suggested we give it a go.

This award-winning Cantonese restaurant in the Conrad Hotel serves a-la-carte yum cha at any time, with some specials only available during Sunday lunch.

It lacked a lot of my yum cha staples – the only ones on the menu being fried carrot cake, steamed glutinous rice with chicken in bamboo leaf and char siew pau – steamed roast pork buns.

I understand that a restaurant of this calibre needs to up the ante to differentiate it from other restaurants, but the other items on the menu just didn’t appeal to someone like me who likes her staples.

Har gau – prawn dumplings

We ordered the har gau that did not appear on the menu, and they came with bright green dumpling skins – no explanation as to what it was, but the skin was a little too thick and doughy for my liking.

Diced duck in Portuguese sauce “puff”

Another order was diced duck in a Portuguese sauce in a crispy shell.  This was served to us in the shape of perfect curry puff pastry – lots of layers to be seen.  The filling was forgettable – a sweet goo with few pieces of duck to be seen.

The siew mai on offer was the traditional pork/prawn mix but topped with an enormous prawn.  Kudos to the chef who didn’t soak these in bicarbonate of soda so the prawns are not unrealistically crunchy.  This was lovely.

Fried tofu skin topped with pan-fried tofu skin and suckling pig

One special dish we ordered was a sheet of deep fried tofu skin, topped with thin slices of pan-fried foie gras and then covered with a square of suckling pig crackling – how could that go wrong??  Worked very very well, and the wasabi prawns that was also served were delicious as well.

Overall, I think this would be a terrific restaurant to have a business lunch at.  For someone that just wants good old fashioned dim sum, my search continues.

Golden Peony
3F Conrad Hotel
2 Temasek Boulevard
Tel: 6432 748


Otto Ristorante

Veal ravioli with freshly shaved white truffles

Wanting to catch up with our friends who had lived in Japan and recommended many of the places we visited while we were there on our recent trip, we organised dinner with them at Otto Ristorante at the Red Dot Museum on Maxwell Road.

In the mood for simple pasta, we were wowed into selecting the gourmet degustation menu for three and one at our table selected three dishes from the white truffle menu.  I was in a very indecisive mood and wanted the benefit of small portions of more dishes.

The menu actually draws a lot of inspiration from Japanese ingredients, including sea urchin and scallops – and I started with the carpaccio of Hokkaido scallops.  The scallop itself was wonderfully fresh and paper thin, but the flavours for me left me a little flat.  I didn’t know what the black substance was that was sprinkled over the scallops, first thinking it was caviar, and later finding out it was dehydrated olives.  I think I would have preferred it to be caviar, the flavours were all a bit too delicate for me.

Pan fried foie gras with caramelised onion jam and brioche

Next course was an excellent pan-fried foie gras with delicious onion jam and brioche.  Classic flavours.  Classic dish.  Superb.

I’ve heard that the pastas at Otto are great and I have to agree with everyone on this.  I had a veal ravioli, which was my clear favourite for the night – over the foie gras, suckling pig and a sneaky forkful of my mate’s truffle risotto, which are some of favourite dishes ever.  The veal was melt-in-the-mouth tender, the pasta wafer thin and perfectly al dente, and we had the additional extravagance of having freshly shaved white truffles over them.  YUM.

My friend who didn’t want veal asked to change the pasta for the spaghetti with sea urchin and grey mullet battarga, which is grey mullet roe that has been cured and dried with sea salt and then waxed to prevent further drying.  This dish tasted to me like the essence of Japan – the stronger battarga hit your palette with an explosion followed by the delicate but unique uni flavour that seemed to silkily coat your tongue.

Next dish was steamed sea bass with basil infused fava beans in a white wine emulsion.  This seemed a little flat for me, but only because the previous dish (and my forkfulls from my friends’ dishes) were so strongly flavoured.  The fish was cooked to perfection and I think the three flavours worked very well together.

Final dish was the signature crispy suckling pig, with black locust honey and aged balsamic vinegar.  Perhaps it was because I was already full but for some reason this dish didn’t work for me.  The suckling pug was very well done – tender meat with crispy skin, not too much fat, but the balsamic vinegar seemed almost too strong and tangy, yet I know you need something to cut through the fattiness of the suckling pig.  It was served on top of a bed of baby spinach leaves, which I also didn’t think worked with the slow cooked meat.  Perhaps something more peppery like rocket ?  I’m not sure.

Dessert was a warm chocolate cake / fondant with a vanilla bean ice-cream.  Always a favourite, lots of molten fondant inside.  Can’t go wrong 🙂

It certainly wasn’t a cheap night, but the service was excellent, the wine list solid (although we weren’t told that the bottle of ripassa we started with was the last one they had … until we ordered a second bottle) and the food really very well done.  I would happily go to Otto next time I have a simple craving for pasta.

My only complaint is their atrociously over-designed website.

Otto Ristorante
28 Maxwell Road, #01-02
Red Dot Traffic Building
Tel: 6227 6819

Open lunch and dinner Mon-Fri
Dinner only Sat
Closed Sundays


Kazu Sumi-Yaki Restaurant

A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it restaurant, I’d recommend this gem of a place only for couples, and only if you can get seats at the counter.

We’ve previously tried two people and four people in the dining area, and I truly think that it lacks that magic and fun that you always get when you’re seated at the counter.  And it’s a cosy counter – only space for four people.  Here, you get to see what yakitori others in the restaurant are ordering, talk to the chef, ask questions, and get adventurous trying new things.

D and I went on Saturday night to Kazu – it’s one of our favourite places, I think because of the weird intimacy you get whilst surrounded by busy, shouting and laughing strangers seated around you.  And of course, for the food.

We ordered our usual fare – pork and apple, wagyu steak with shimijei mushrooms, pork belly wrapped asparagus, shishito and garlic fried rice and while watching what other people ordered, we also tried the bbq stingray fin, which I have to admit probably wasn’t one of my favourite dishes – it was very chewy – almost like it was already dried before it was bbqd so turned out like jerky.  Additionally we tried the okonomiyaki balls which were lovely and the winner for me was the ginger tsukune, which was finely minced chicken and ginger balls with a teriyaki sauce. Winning dish for D was the lamb chop – cooked perfectly rare on the inside.

Kazu also has a wide selection of sakes and the staff are knowledgeable enough to be able to recommend dry sakes or ones which are a lot smoother.  I can’t recall the one we ordered but it was so smooth we polished off a 720ml bottle in an hour.  Needless to say we were pretty happy about everything after that.

Definitely book ahead for this place and don’t forget – request the counter.

Kazu Sumiyaki Restaurant
5 Koek Road #04-05 Cuppage Plaza
Tel: +65 6734 2492

Open daily 6-10


Kelly’s birthday dinner at Sage

Heard a lot about this place. And it’s the place that made me fail at my self imposed ban on eating non-ethically reared ducks for foie gras…

We ordered seven entrees between the five of us, and we devoured everything ! The lobster bisque was a bit disappointing, but the foie gras, which is meant to be chef Jusman So’s signature dish, and his mushroom soup served with scrambled eggs with truffle, won me over completely.

The foie gras to start with was the sort that you don’t often get in Singapore, where it seems to appear on every menu. The flavour was incredibly intense, and made moreso by the chef searing it till crispy on the outside, but still soft and tender on the inside. BRILLIANT. It came served on a fig, pecan and honey tart topped with poached pear puree and chocolate gastrique but to be honest, I didn’t even notice that there was anything else on the plate.

The cappuccino of wild mushrooms with truffle infused scrambled eggs, asparagus and morel cream was another intensely flavoured soup – I would rank it up there with Le Bistrot’s cream of mushroom soup which I LOVE – and served with just cooked egg in an eggshell, with specks of truffle. How would you go wrong ??

I needed a lighter main course, so had the fillet of cod, which came topped with prawn and cognac butter on salt cod brandade, caramelized lemon confit and bouillabaisse jus. The bouillabaisse was a wonderful accompaniment to the delicate flavour of the cod.

The main course winner on the table was the 300 Days Grain Fed Black Angus Ribeye – served for two and just amazing. Nothing more to be said.

The beef cheek came rather unappetisingly served as a brick that with the sauce, resembled a square sticky date pudding. The flavour was lovely and the texture was melt-in-your-mouth tender, but there was quite a lot of a very rich dish. The duck confit was also disappointing – it wasn’t bad, just wasn’t good, and for the standard of the rest of the dishes, really quite unremarkable.

Definitely a must-go-back venue.

Sage, The Restaurant
No. 7 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238957
Tel: (65) 6333 8726


Brilliant bedrock

If you want a really really great steak in Singapore and can’t get to Mortons, go to Bedrock. Tucked away in a quiet enclave behind 313 Somerset, this gem of a restaurant has it all. Delicious, tender, perfectly done steaks (where you can order roasted marrow or pan-roasted foie gras on top), iberico ham, well mixed cocktails and discrete but attentive staff who seem to understand, well, service.

Unlike Prime Society, it has a solid understanding of ambiance, and manages to create a cosy, warm ambiance that makes you, well, want to be there. And their truffle mash, which has a heavenly aroma of truffles, has a perfect consistency, unlike the glue-type consistency of the one at Prime Society.

I couldn’t find two more different restaurants and I’m very very very glad that we found Bedrock. Hurrah !

Bedrock Bar & Grill
96 Somerset Road
#01-05 Pan Pacific Service Suites
6238 0054


Dinner Date at Jaan par André

D surprised me last night by saying he was going to take me to Jaan par André, a restaurant that we’ve wanted to try for ages.  Hearing rumours that chef André Chiang was going to leave to set up his own restaurant, we thought we’d catch him while still there, and are we glad we did !

The restaurant has a cracker view of the harbour and the place was nicely buzzing when we walked in.  The set up is a bit weird, there’s no real greeting area, so we kind of walked straight into the dining room.  There were three maitre d’s who seem to be the only ones to seat guests (we were noticed by a few of the serving staff, which I thought was strange, despite them not doing anything to acknowledge us standing there waiting).

Once seated we were served the most ridiculous “bread sticks” which were about half the thickness of an uncooked strand of angel hair spaghetti and this was served with an eggplant dip.  The sticks were so fragile that there was no hope of picking up any of the dip with them.  I was hungry (and apparently have no manners) so picked up a dollop with the bread knife and found it smooth and creamy.

An amuse bouche was served – raw sweet prawn served on frozen sangria which was very refreshing, but not sure it really worked.

Then we got to the real stuff.

Entrees was a difficult decision between scallops saint jacques or perigord foie gras but once again foie gras won the day.  Served three ways – pan seared, terrine, and the clear winner of the three, a foie gras jelly, which had the consistency of chawanmushi, with fresh truffles.  Absolute heaven in a cup!

For mains, I had the Bresse chicken which was served with scallops and foie gras and morel mushrooms, which I’ve only ever seen on River Cottage on TV.  Light and creamy, I the chicken had a delicate flavour and a texture that was much smoother than I think chicken should be.  But it was moist and tender and didn’t need tons of sauce so you could really taste the chicken.

We didn’t have space for dessert, but were served petit fours – a raspberry sorbet infused with earl grey tea and dipped in white chocolate (which I don’t usually like), a light and crispy macaroon, a madeline and dark chocolate with orange crisps and POP ROCKS.  Took me a while to figure out what the noise was until I realised with glee that the chef had managed to include them in the delicious chocolate.  Really took me back years and ended the evening with a big grin on my face.

With the chef leaving at the end of the month, we’re going back again for more before it all ends…

Jaan par André
Swissotel The Stamford
Singapore
Tel: +65 6837 3322