Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mezebar @ Meritus Mandarin






Family time it is, so off we headed to Mezebar at Meritus Mandarin for some good ole pigging out, the staff taking my reservation over the phone did not inform us of the two seatings they had! I wouldn't have taken the second seating from 2.30-5pm had I known of the 12-2pm one. Anyway, it's high-tea.

I've walked past Meritus Mandarin so many times and seen posters of the drinks promoting chilling at Mezebar...pretty tempted by the place.

Located on the second floor, up the stairs we went into a really cosy and cushy place...waitresses were polite and obviously, service I have nothing to complain about. Meritus Mandarin's the ONLY place I've been to that highlights the credit card promos at the start of the meal, kudos to them! At least they are aware and actively promoting. :) Liked that, from a customer's point of view.

Mezebar offers European spread for high tea. There's three sections in total, starters, mains, desserts. Quite an array of selection up to tempt our tastebuds..

The hilarious glass of water that came in a "Tiger Mug"! Like..huh? Especially for a hotel.

Starters

Make-your-own salad bar

Tasted quite good actually with the assortment of sauces (thousand island, apple cider, caeser dressing...) and add-ons (bacon bits, sliced carrot, tomatoes) , though nowhere near Pete's place salads!

Smoked Salmon with dill

Liked this! Not fishy at all, pity they didn't serve it with cream cheese. Would've been perrrfect!

Grilled zucchini

Nothing spectacular.

Octopus with pineapple cold salad

The pineapples are sweet. Seemed quite "thai" to me.

Deluxe Sandwiches (Roast beef, mozzarella cheese, egg with onion)


Hot favourite! Just normal looking rectangular sandwiches BUT they're soooo delicious! I had them with smoked salmon. :P

Prawn in Mango Shooter

Felt the prawn was too artificially crunchy...mango juice was just o-k-a-y-.

Seafood Bisque with assorted bread rolls

Looks like pumpkin soup but it's got loads of seafood in it, clams, mussels, scallops...the bread rolls are yummy too! Onion...cinnamon or normal bread rolls. Yum!

Mains (I tried to remember the names of the dishes to the best of my ability!)

On the left plate...kueh pie tee, wilted spinach lagsana, lamb stew, clams, chipolata and steamed pumpkin custard. The right...mango shooter, pizza, sandwiches, smoked salmon...salad!

Beef Tenderloin on the wagon with Horse Radish, English Mustard and Sauce

Uber delicious. I had 5 thin slices of this. Pardon the pun, bloody good! Tender and very tasty. My mom and I agreed it's very flavourful, can compete with Lawry's (with the exception of the grilled ribeye!).

Seafood pizza

The pan-sized pizza sitting lonely next to the beef wagon actually rocks. Impressive. Very cheesy, bread's chewy...I ate...countless slices. *slurrrrrrp* If only it came with a dash of mozzerella cheese and chilli powder!

Steamed Pumpkin Custard Topped with US Scallop of Ginger Soya Jus

Chawanmushi...european style. Flavours aren't strong, pretty bland.

Chicken of Wilted Spinach Lagsana

Hilarious, "wilted spinach" cracked me up. I was going to crack a joke with the family about the "wilted" bit so I was going "The name of this dish is...", the waitress came along to clear the dishes and she completed my sentence "lagsana" !!! I don't know if I should burst out laughing or...be annoyed with her for ruining my joke. =_=""

Anyway, pretty yucky. Not much of a taste and it was rather gooey a mass.

Oven Baked Sea Bream with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

This...tasted and looked very oriental. Another bland one.

Chicken Kebab with Herbed Bread Crumbs


Chicken satay it is...with a European finish, a dollop of mayonnaise on top! Taste-wise...hmm...like all fried foods, crunchy and not very tasty.

Roasted vegetables

Looked too dry to attempt.

Kueh Pie Tee

An asian delight amidst the European spread...didn't mind it too bad, the shells are quite fresh! Just bang kwang (stewed radish and carrot), mashed egg and chilli sauce...no prawns though.

White Shell Clam with Chardonay Wine Sauce and Vegetables Brunoise

Nothing spectacular, just creamy clams.

Grilled Veal Chipolata with Onion Sauce


Tasteless...sausages.

Braised Lamb Stew with Carbenet Sauvignon And Root Vegetables

My mom makes a meaner stew...totally tasteless! The lamb tasted liked those you boil in soups...boil and re-boil...I couldn't tell what meat it is actually.

Desserts

The spread of goodies...



What I ate! Assorted cookies...loved the jam ones best! Fruits...the creme brulee!

Flambe of Crepe Suzette with Vanilla Ice-cream

Ah, yummy!! Crepes soaked in honey and comes with a scoop of ice-cream. Decadent.

Palm Sugar Creme Brulee

Tastes more like the sago gula melaka dessert than creme brulee, was a tad disappointed.

Assorted Cookies

I'll give them props for this....Loved it tons! Especially the jam tarts...oohlala.

Raisin egg tart


Pretty normal bite-sized dessert.

Cheesecake

Nice!

Traditional
Coconut Cake

I'm not a fan of coconutty stuff...neither am I for Mezebar's coconut cake. A lil too strong on the coconut.

Mango Mousse Swiss Roll

Another favourite, soft, light and good!

Chocolate Shooter with Mango

Longan Jelly

Normal.

Scones with Whipped Cream and Jam

I actually liked this, not your usual European scones...somehow. Tasted good anyway.

Fruit Platter

Maybe it's the order I ate the desserts, fruits weren't sweet.

Mezebar surprised me with their selection AND dish names (like...root vegetables for carrot and radish..huh?)...baffled me with the oriental/asian additions when it's supposed to be European. An attempt to tease the local palette? All in, appetizers and desserts were noteworthy! Mains were a total letdown.

Service...good! At least they clear the plates fast enough!

Pity there's no "view" to enjoy despite being right smack in the middle of Orchard Road attributed to the ongoing construction work at the front of the hotel. :(

Not too sure if I'd be back for seconds...I've got an unwritten, unspoken rule about buffets though...the declining enjoyment...so to date, I've not been proven wrong about seconds at buffets. Maybe I'll be back to chill next, their baileys platter and drinks look tempting!

1-for-1 OCBC promo, not sure of the closing date.

http://www.mandarin-singapore.com/dining/monthlyf&bpromotions.htm

MezeBar
Meritus Mandarin Hotel
12-2pm OR 230-5pm

6831 6286 (MezeBar)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Blue Ginger @ Tanjong Pagar



The third visit to Blue Ginger, one of the restaurants on Singapore's Food Tatler list. To be honest, I hardly pay attention to such accolades after a rather off-standard performance by Manna, a Thai Restaurant in Bangkok which was also on Thailand's Food Tatler list.

Blue Ginger offers authentic refined peranakan fare at of course, prices to match. Blue Ginger wowed me the first time there, disappointed the second time round...and the third? Read on...

With dim lighting, wooden tables and chairs...mod designs...and weirdly latin music, set quite the mood for a lazy afternoon. Brought me quite away from the hustle and bustle of reality outside the restaurant, with half the working world dashing to da pao lunch or hurriedly grab something to fill the hunger pangs. I had the company of Blamer & Leecher (once again!) and mr tyw, a fellow foodie. Awesome company indeed.

Many thanks to B&L for the arty pics!

We shared...all signature dishes since three of them were first timers at the place. Juices for all...I like the Calamansi drink!

Beef Rendang

Tender beef cubes prepared in rich coconut milk spiced with ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and a dash of curry powder

I liked this, just enough oomph to go with it. The gravy isn't too jelak but tasty!

Ayam Panggang “Blue Ginger”

Deboned chicken thigh and drumstick flavoured with coconut milk rich in exotic spices and grilled to perfection

I found this a tad disappointing...probably the least flavourful of the lot but seemingly enjoyed by the rest. Tasted just like grilled chicken with gravy.

Otak Otak

Their homemade fishcake recipe, spiced with turmeric and lime leaves enriched with galangal, chilli, candlenuts and shrimp paste.

The power dish, very spicy and tantalizing indeed. Pity I couldn't taste the fish meaty bits in it but otherwise, I enjoyed this.

Udang Masak Assam Gulai

Fresh tiger prawns simmered in spicy tamarind gravy flavoured with lemongrass

Another disappointment...I prefer the one with pineapple though. 5 Prawns, just enough to go round..the prawns weren't superbly fresh, just alright. The gravy was good enough for me to drink it like soup though.

Durian Chendol

Red beans and pandan flavoured jelly in freshly squeezed coconut milk sweetened with gula melaka and durian puree

Strong durian "fragrance". Those who ordered finished every drop.

Gula Melaka

Chilled sago topped with honey sea coconut

Did not fancy this hugely either. Just sweet. Overload.


The third visit was average...I like the achar (not your usual homemade achar) and chilli paste...otah and beef rendang too! Service was prompt and attentive.

All in, for a group of 4 with a discount from credit card worked out to $23 per person.

Not very sure if Blue Ginger warrants a forth visit.

http://www.theblueginger.com/

The Blue Ginger Restaurant

97 Tanjong Pagar Road

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Superfamous @ Chulia Street



I first took notice of this place initially for the happy hour free mini wagyu beef burgers that go with it a number of years back but I never had the chance to. Finally had a chance to visit the place, exactly next to OCBC Bank. Open air concept, surprisingly not crowded over lunch. Once again, the lovely company of Blamer & Leecher and another of their friend!

Beef in itself is a knowledge field...so many cuts, so many types...I roughly know ribeye, prime steak...stirloin steak...wagyu beef...kobe beef. That is about it. Here's so get-to-know about wagyu beef:

Wagyu (和牛 wagyū) refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value. -- Wikipedia.

Well in common folk terms, fatty beef.

My order of Wagyu Burger handchopped with caramelized onions and aioli ($25)
The display was pleasing, generous portion of potato wedges, side salad with vinegar splashed and finally the star -- Wagyu Beef Patty sitting handsomely between two thick slices of bread sprinkled with caramelized onions. Aioli is...sauce made from garlic and olive oil. *dang!* Couldn't quite taste it anyway.

Nearly everyone ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger set.

I must admit...I can't quite taste the difference between wagyu beef and minced beef from the patty. At the very least the patty was juicy, with onions nicely blended in. Salad was normal...so were the wedges.

Maybe wagyu tastes better in steaks?

Blamer's order of Wagyu Burger handchopped patty topped with fresh Mozzarella and Pancetta ($28)

Leecher's & their friend's order of Chicken Thigh Braised in White Wine with Roasted Scallion Mashed Potato ($22)


I was kindly given a slice of it. A chicken dish with mash and cream sauce. Garlic was quite strong...the chicken chop was lightly panfried? Not sure of the way they cooked it. Did not like the skin that went with the dish.

We shared two desserts;

Tarte Tatin of Pear with Vanilla Ice Cream ($10)


Plenty of pear slices atop paper thin pastry and a generous scoop of ice-cream! Nothing fantabulous, I liked the ice-cream though.

Sticky Date Pudding with Warm Butterscotch, Honey & Fig Ice Cream ($10)

Apparently their signature...the date pudding had a strong coconut taste and dates which I didn't mind too much. The pudding tasted alot like brown sugar kueh..for some reason. The Honey and Fig ice-cream had figs in them! Awesome. Looked exactly like the vanilla bean ice-cream...

Service was...okay.

All in $126 for 4 people, for a lunch in CBD...I'd say it is acceptable. Doubt I'd be back though, the wagyu doesn't give you much reason to shout about, neither are the desserts. Marmalade Pantry instead, anytime!

www.superfamous.com.sg

Superfamous
67 Chulia Street

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blue Mist Cafe @ Amara Hotel



Snug in a corner of Amara Hotel lies Blue Mist Cafe, bustling with business over lunch and after work. Lunch specials start from $12.90. Drinks are available all day long, occasionally spotting foreigners sipping beer over lunch!

My second visit at Blue Mist for a pal's birthday, my treat! Made my reservations on the day itself, reservations are a must...gets too crowded sometimes and queues start snaking.

Both of us had the lunch special; Fish and Chips with garlic bread, pumpkin soup and coffee or tea. Juices went for a dollar less than their original prices with every set lunch ordered. Garlic bread was served after an eternity of a lifetime, 4 large slices! Deliciously crunchy. Pity they used to have freeflow of garlic bread and now, it's scrapped. :(


The pumpkin soup was somewhat too thick.


The fish and chips came after quite a while...the fish portions are downsized. Fried lightly in crunchy breaded crumbs, thick wedges of french fries with a huge dollop of coleslaw. The fish was light, not overly oily. French fries were salted but tasted really good with mayonnaise. The coleslaw was just alright.

At $12.90++ each, it's quite a deal! Service is, painfully slow and somewhat lacking at times. Not a good place to catch up with friends because of the queues -- adds stress to lunch!

Too full for dessert, however.

Blue Mist Cafe
#01-11, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, The Amara
Singapore 88539

62201820

Saturday, August 23, 2008

K Box Lunch @ Suntec

Kbox Lunch specials daily are a steal with nearly 3 hours of karaoke-ing AND a lunch set to boot! They've changed their menu so very often...I kind of lost track what they offer. I remember chicken rice sets...japanese bento sets with fruit, salad...sushi tempura too. The whole deal's going for $12.50 inclusive GST...

Now, they've got a choice of Pasta or Rice Burgers. The poor guy at the outlet had problems trying to tell us what they offer...they should have menus!!

After a good 10 minutes...this is what Kbox has to offer;

Pasta: Mushroom Cream Pasta OR Tomato Spaghetti

Rice Burger: Salmon, Unagi, Seaweed OR Unagi with egg.


My very safe and tasty choice of salmon rice burger with chicken nuggets. The nuggets are nice at the very least. The rice burger's nowhere near MOS for sure but still came warm and fragrant. Taste-wise, slightly fishy but not tooo bad as compared to...


The Mushroom cream pasta that took near forever to arrive. The bits of mushroom and thinly sliced meat was pathetic. Tasted sooooo bad, pretty tasteless actually...one dish to avoid for sure!

www.kbox.com.sg

Kbox Lunch at most outlets
11am-2pm

Friday, August 22, 2008

OldTown White Coffee @ Big Splash Play Ground



OldTown White Coffee (co-owned by local celebrity Mark Lee) founded in 1999 across the causeway and made its mark by manufacturing and launching Malaysia's famous Ipoh White Coffee as a 3in1 Blend. Recently, an outlet was opened at PlayGround, the East's answer to One Rochester or the likes of Dempsey.

I've walked past this particular eatery tons of times and each time it is crowded. Thankfully that particular Monday evening was relatively empty.

Once I stepped into the outlet, it reminded me of Killiney Cafe...or one of those HK Style cafes...staff weren't exceptional in their service, you write your own menus, find your own seat...pretty much left alone, why bother having waiters or waitresses for that matter?

The menu was rather limited in offerings, prawn noodles, nasi lemak..laksa...curry chicken. That sums it up.

Between two of us, we shared...

Nasi Lemak Special, comes in a basket and banana leaf, coconut rice, egg, ikan bilis, blachan and...a fried chicken wing. Not too bad imo, just enough spiciness in the chilli but I found the rice too heavy on coconut. Nearly every table had this.

Pineapple Bun with Ham and Cheese. A little on the dry side, the ham and cheese did not quite compliment the dessert.

Kaya and Butter on Thick Toast. Three thick cuts on a slab of toast, the butter and kaya applied in blocks and drizzled with condensed milk, not too bad.

Two half-boiled eggs. It came in a bowl so small, looked funny anyway. We requested for "dark sauce", the waiter half hearted passed us a saucer with dark sauce, turned out to be sweet sauce. :/ Speechless with the service.

I don't drink coffee (which may have been a mistake since they ARE famous for the coffee) so...Lemon coke it was, wedges of lemon with a can of coke.

I doubt I'll be back, did not quite enjoy the food much. Service was a letdown. All in, nearly $18 for the meal.

OldTown White Coffee


Play Ground Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
Blk B #01-08/09 Singapore 449874

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aroma Pantry @ Temasek Tower

Sandwich joints dot our Financial District so very often, it's quite difficult telling one from the other or even noticing if one closed. In fact, every 10m or so, a sandwich joint is within vicinity. Met the bestie for lunch and off we went to Aroma Pantry that wowed me the first time round with their steak sandwich.


I had Roast Beef on Herb Foccacia ($9.90) with fries. Thinly sliced beef with caramelized onions on lightly toasted herb foccacia, a delicious treat! The fries at Aroma's is thicker than the usual fries I eat...though they are the usual ones you buy off the pack at the supermart's. A good enough alternative to their steak sandwiches...which I still have very good memories of!

The bestie had Club Sandwich ($9.90), three layers of bread with chicken salad, fried egg and bacon and of course fries. In her words' "not too bad". steak

The lunch crowd was rather brisk, with a proportion taking away and the rest eating in. Saw a number of plates of steak sandwiches being ordered.



Nice place to hangout...for a hearty lunch. Will be back for sure!



Aroma's Pantry

Temasek Tower
Basement 1