Monday, May 26, 2008

1-twenty-six @ Playground



Photos taken off asiaone

Chilling's one of my favourite past-times...complete with good ole music of the past (sounds like blast from the past), perfect company and well, nice nibbles to go with the awesome drinks...That, will be an ideal way to spend a Friday or Saturday night.

1 Twenty-six caught my attention when I was heading to Playground for Carl's Junior's Beef Chilli Cheese Fries...made the diversion and ended up at this uber cool place -- 1 Twenty-Six. Reminds me of Villa Bali near Alexandra. Full marks for ambience, what makes this just right for chilling is...the sea just a stone's throw away and it's the only bar within the vicinity. Come to think of it...in the East itself, there's hardly any bar that's iconic...Think One Rochester (I've not been there though) or...Dempsey (Getting way too overcrowded with bars/dessert places mushrooming all over the place)

Headed there twice this weekend, Friday and Saturday. Friday night seemed better though, music was of my era...:P None too cheesy or...heavy on the ears. Did my lil research on this place, from the folks who brought us One Rochester gastro bar.

On both nights, I had drinks only...Here's what I tried over two nights...

Faithfully Yours
Bailey's, crème de menthe, Oreo & homemade vanilla ice cream.

A very yummy description indeed, due to poor lighting I didn't manage to grab a shot of it. Under the category of "signature drinks"...it was served way after my company's asahi was. Shouldn't drinks be served together? Anyway it came in a tall glass, blended...reminded me of Dairy Farm's ice-cream that they serve by tilting the whole cup over ensuring the contents don't topple out. I liked the crunchy oreo served with it best. The rest of it was...bland. Not a trace of alcohol...somewhat disappointing. Don't think I finished the drink.

Mulled Christmas Cosmopolitan
(As far as the memory can bring me!) Raspberry with your usual cosmo mix

Anyway, was enticed by the raspberries and oh-so-good description once again. I've gotta admit I'm not such a martini person..the only exceptions being Morton's and Jewel Box's martinis. As with most cosmos looking like cough syrups, this tasted pretty bad as well.

Took a sip of Lychee Martini too...utter disappointment.

Oh, drinks come with a complimentary anchovies mix, loved it muchly. It's got that spicy twang that goes really well with (in this case, bad) drinks. Service is acceptable...the downside of being in a cosy corner makes it difficult for you to get the attention of waiters.

Yes, in their ways "a chic getaway"..but I'm not a huge fan of their drinks. Food maybe, next time?

www.1-twentysix.com
The previous Big Splash
Opposite Carl's Junior

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Victor's Kitchen @ Sushine Plaza

Being a Cantonese means I love dimsum and soups. Ever since finding out about this gem at Sunshine Plaza..I've been heading there quite often, converting people to Victor Kitchen's fans as well. The last visit was...3 weeks back? Just blogging about this for memory's sake.


The wall of fame outside Victor's Kitchen, literally. A rather crampy area..as much as they try to maximise the 3 shop spaces they have, plus the opening of "unofficial" tables outside the kitchen proper. Especially during weekends, crowds are a common sight. Oh, they close by 8pm on weekdays.

Their cutlery always amuses me, so mismatched but does remind one of dining under the bridges in HK. :P

Their signature XO Radish Cake with XO sauce. XO sauce has..shrimp, chilli...oil and some other delicious ingredients. Sold at $12 a bottle off the counter.

Normal har gow, prawn dumpling. The skin's thin enough, unlike the thick ones at Tiong Bahru pau. Crunchy prawns await you as you bite through the thin skin.

Siew Mai...

Zha Leong or cheong fun stuffed with fried dough sticks (you tiao), one of the few places that serve this. Not a huge fan though every single time I head there, I order this. :P

Feng Jiao or chicken feet...

Pork ribs? I like this with the bean sauce. Tastes authentically cantonese.

At $4, I'd say this glutionous rice dish is a steal! Filled with ingredients like preserved sausage, salted egg, pork bits...yummy. Quite difficult to find nice "Pearl Chicken" (Zhen Zhu Ji) as we cantonese call it, nowadays.

Their famous egg custard pau with salted egg. $2.80 for three, it's not cheap. Pity they don't serve other kinds of dessert paus like lotus paste/red bean...

Mango sago with pomelo..twice I tried this, I didn't like it. The pomelo bits are bitter, possibly cos the fruit bits are too near the skin of the fruit.

The newest addition on the menu, honeydew sago with honeydew balls! Under the dessert section but it doubles up perfectly as a drink.

Victor's offers very affordable dimsum, but I've gotta add...their dishes are limited in range and can be quite salty. With just one person handling the drinks, it can take next to forever for your thirst to be quenched even when your stomach's already filled.

No such thing as reservations, no such thing as proper receipts, mostly handwritten but without GST, I've gotta forgive them for the lack of proper service but affordable dimsum!

Sunshine Plaza
Ground Floor
Near Park Lane Zha Wan Ton Mee
11am to 8pm (weekdays, not sure about weekends)

Ricciotti @ Riverwalk

Ricciotti is under the Garibaldi Group of restaurants, Menotti at Raffles City also falls under the same umbrella. Personally don't fancy Menotti's pasta that much, the highly acclaimed Tiramisu fell short of a gastronomical orgasm...at least their gelatos were good.

Clarke Quay's awesome for chilling and chi-chi eateries are popping up all over as well, believe that Ricciotti's been there for quite some time already so headed that for an all girls feast. Reservations were advised by the regulars in my group that Thursday night but surprisingly, it wasn't crowded at all. Maybe the weekends? I've heard about their weekend brunch though.


Found my cutlery with water stains...

SALMON SALAD - S$14.50
smoked salmon, fresh tomatoes, red onions, orange and balsamico dressing

First up, the appetizer...salmon salad. Was leafing through the plate searching for the smoked salmon. At some point I was wondering if the chef left them at the bottom or basically minced them. Apparently, the chef "FORGOT" to add them. :/ The plate returned with exactly 5 slivers of smoked salmon, one for each of us. Not too bad a salad with a refreshing crunch.

AL CRUDO - S$24.50
rucola, parma ham, pomodoro and mozzarella cheese

Very generous serving that feeds 5 hungry ladies pretty well. We had 1.5-2 slices each, the parma ham goes really really well with the thin crust it's got. I'm not high on thin crusted pizzas but ricciotti's made it yummy.

PENNE AL POLLO - S$23.80
penne with chicken, mushrooms and cream sauce

I've gotta be honest about my not being a carbonara fan but this dish is awesome! Not too cloying on the palette (maybe we were sharing all dishes so...I wasn't waving the white flag midway. :P), delicious.

SPAGHETTI POMODORO - S$19.80
spaghetti with tomato and basil

A disappointment as compared to the carbonara counterpart. Boring, in fact. I don't think I need to head to an Italian restaurant for a simple dish like this.


Desserts galore!

LIMONCINO - S$7.80
refreshing pie made of lemon custard and smooth meringue

Anything lemony and zesty rocks my boat and limoncino's a nice way to end the meal! I enjoyed the sour custard topped with meringue. Thankfully it wasn't overly sweet.


CATALANA - S$7.80
pistachio crème brule baked with chocolate jelly

Wasn't too impressed by their interpretation of creme brule...I'd stick to the regular charred sugary ones at Menotti. :P


SOFFIATO - S$8.90
warm dark chocolate cake with chocolate chip icecream

I took a bite of this...doubly sinful...but wasn't wow.


Two scoops of gelato; rum and raisin, pistachio

Gelato was good, as usual...at the very least, the rum and raisin was distinct in flavours, the crunchy biscuit completed it.

Overall a pretty satisfying meal at Ricciotti. Impeccable service with ever obliging waitresses/waiters to our demands (taking blur pictures for us/changing of seats cos of the stuffy weather towards the end of the meal) with minor hiccups (the missing salmon and water-stained cutlery!). I enjoyed the food experience though.

All pictures taken by me, rather lousy on resolution I know! ")
http://www.ricciotti.com.sg/