Tag Archives: Swiss

Oenotheque by Wine Universe

Potatoes roasted with garlic, thyme & smoked paprika and aioli dip

I was lucky enough to score some drinking time with my friend C, and as I was around Suntec, we decided to go to Oenotheque by Wine Universe, a modern French and Swiss wine bar/restaurant. Part-owned by Mag of Mag’s Wine Kitchen on Circular Road, I had the pleasure of attending their opening in 2009, and D and I have eaten there a few times, but it has been a while since I’ve been, so it was good to know that it’s still as stellar as I remembered it to be.

We started with an Alsace Pinot Gris which was suspiciously rosé coloured and came in a frosted riesling bottle – which screamed sweet and sticky to us, but it was a lovely refreshingly light and crisp wine that went down a treat in the heat of the evening. We then moved on to a Pinot Blanc, although I have to admit that by that stage I didn’t pay much attention to the label or where it was from 🙂

We ordered from the snack menu (although it’s referred to as tapas menu, which I thought confusing as to the type of cuisine you get there) and all the recommendations from the friendly staff made C and I ‘exclaim’ a lot about just how yummy they were.

The three dishes we snacked on were potatoes roasted with garlic, thyme and smoked paprika that was served with a mild aioli dip, parma-ham wrapped asparagus and enoki, and tiger prawns baked with spinach and raclette cheese.

Unfortunately the photos that I took from my iPhone in the dim lighting didn’t do the food any justice at all, which is a shame, because the asparagus and prawns were both outstanding. Asparagus, mushrooms and ham are a great combination and they were cooked to perfect crunchiness (for the asparagus), squishy juiciness (for the enoki) and salty crispiness (for the parma-ham). The prawns were served four on a plate with spinach, and with four squares of raclette cheese grilled on top (so that the plate was searingly hot). The melted cheese made them look almost like translucent ravioli on the plate and the delicate flavours of the spinach and prawns complemented the strong raclette cheese.

Wine Universe is located at Millenia Walk, and although it’s a large restaurant on a corner, it’s understated decor means it’s easy to miss – although I am sure it gets tons of business from the Suntec area.  Which is fab because we want it to stick around for as long as Mag’s !

Oneotheque byWine Universe
9 Raffles Boulevard #01-109, Millenia Walk
Tel: 63380717


For the love of cheese.

Who doesn’t love cheese ?  Well I definitely know the six people around my dining table last night sure did.

It’s a bit of a throwback to the 70s, and every time I do a cheese fondue I wonder to myself why I don’t do it more often.  Then I have think a bit more about exactly what we’re consuming, and then I think it’s time to stop thinking, and just enjoy the molten cheesy goodness.

Certainly not for the fainthearted (or those who are watching their weight), I was lucky enough to work with a Swiss who shared his own recipe with me – according to him, where in Australia the BBQ is the man’s domain, in Switzerland, because the weather is too cold to be outdoors, it is the fondue – it’s apparently all about the fire.  Very caveman.  Anyway, every Swiss man has his own recipe, and this is the one he shared with me.

I have a proper cheese fondue set and I would actually highly recommend it just because of the fact that it’s made of heavy cast-iron that is super easy to clean at the end of the night – the cheese simply wipes off (or if you’re lucky, the crust of cheese from the end of the night just comes off in one cheesy biscuit).

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
1 glass dry white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
50/50 mix of gruyere and raclette/appenzeller cheese grated (250g per boy 200g per girl)
1/4 cup brandy
2 tbls cornflour
nutmeg, white pepper, paprika

Method:

  1. Smash the clove of garlic and rub on the inside of the fondue bowl.  Discard.
  2. Place the bowl on a stove on medium.  Add the wine and lemon juice.  When the wine is bubbling around the edges, slowly incorporate the cheese, stirring constantly.
  3. Once all the cheese is melted, add the cornflour mixed with brandy and stir for 2 minutes.  The mixture will thicken.
  4. Season with pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
  5. Serve with cubes of chewy bread (sourdough works well), cauliflower florets and boiled waxy potatoes.
  6. I also like serving it with parma ham and salami.
  7. To cut through all that cheese, I also serve with cornichons, pickled onions, fresh tomatoes and slices of red and yellow capsicum and also apple slices.
  8. An optional addition to cut through the heaviness is kirsch (if you can’t get that, we substitute with vodka or limoncello).
  9. At the end of the evening, the cheese that is left (if there is any) should be crispy and apparently should be shared amongst guests as a delicacy !

Thanks Reto !


Marvellous Marche

It’s been around for ages but for some reason I have not ever been to Marche…until today.  We had arranged to meet up at Vivo before watching Oceans, the movie (which, by the way, is not the best documentary in the world, or is at least a little unorthodox in my terms, but my goodness, the footage is breathtaking and I constantly marvelled at how they managed to get some of the footage it was amazing and so so moving).

You are walked to your table through the hustle and bustle of what feels like a market, full of produce and the sights and smells of cooking food, Swiss-style.  A wonderful selection of food, from freshly made pizzas and breads to crepes (both savoury and sweet) to roast chicken, roasted pork knuckle and sausages to freshly sauteed vegetables and freshly made pastas.  I also saw paella and a selection of cakes/desserts, along with Movenpick ice-cream for a sweet ending to your meal.

We chose to share half a pork knuckle, sausage, and a crepe.

The pork knuckle (which I would easily have been greedy enough to order a whole but the boys insisted half was enough) was almost struggling to find additional surface to have delicious, melt-in-your-mouth crackling, the meat tender and falling off the bone.  The sausage was not memorable, but it came with a fried egg, atop potato rosti, which is always a favourite of mine, and the crepes were simply filled with nothing other than shredded cheese and black forest ham.

All were absolutely delicious.  Even the requisite vegetables were all devoured – crunchy sweet snowpeas, brussel sprouts, mushroom and potatoes, all washed down with cold cold Bundaberg root beer (which I am sure is not Swiss!).

The whole restaurant has a nice buzz about it, it’s a bit too family oriented for my liking (too many screaming kids) but the venue of Vivo as well as the type of restaurant Marche is I guess leans heavily towards family so I can’t really complain haha.  The service is also not the best (although I am sadly becoming immune to poor service, having lived in Singapore for 3+ years now) and it errs on the wrong side of rude, rather than just ignorant, which is a real issue for me.

Anyway, I am looking forward to visiting the Marche that has opened up in 313 Somerset for somewhere a little closer to home and also to go back for more of that pork knuckle !

Marche Vivo City

Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk #03-14 VivoCity Singapore

Tel: +65 6376 8226