Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wild Honey @ Mandarin Gallery



Wild Honey is about brunch all day long, perfect for people who do not wake up early enough to catch the sunshine but crave for breakfast at ungodly hours. "Wild Honey, No Place Like Home" has a certain warmth about the tagline. Within, cushy couches and cosy tables fill the dining area.

Banoffee Brulee ($9)
Banana, Caramel, Milk, Honey



The torched meringue vaguely rang a bell...think P.S Cafe's Lime Meringue Tart. Towering. Nearly toppling and tediously swirled. I adore the marshmellowy swirl above the frothy tasty beverage. Barely there banana flavouring but this, satisfied the sugar fix I really needed.

Queen B ($9)
Elder Flower, Honey

A more refreshing zesty drink on the menu, with a pinch of citrus.

English ($22)



Somewhat like the Iron Cast Pan at Graze, the portion at Wild Honey is deemed more than hearty. Wild Honey offers intercontinental breakfast sets to please the fickle. More like to satiate those who wake up feeling "Yemini" or "Japanese." By and large, the variations are all about eggs, scrambled, omelettes or boiled. Our forks were hovering around the droolsome display of ingredients. Sizzling grilled sausages, thick cut toasts, scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, grilled tomato, bacon and baked beans! I'm no scrambled egg person but Wild Honey did justice to this, not overly eggy. The baked beans were exceptional when slapped onto the toasts.

Belgian ($18)
Light fluffy waffles with grilled mangoes



French Toasts or Waffles, a nasty decision to make for the fickle-minded.

The waffles were fluffy, no doubt but had a certain sourish aftertaste in the waffles which the waiter insisted was due to the "mangoes blended in with the custard." An explanation aimed to baffle and leave you speechless. The funny thing is, the dough was sour, not the custard. The grilled mangoes and petite blueberries served their ornamental roles well.

Save for the brush with the unhelpful waiter, the rest were by and large a friendly welcoming brunch. Oh, do bring a sweater, the temperatures are freezing.

No Place like Home?...a wee bit of reluctance to confer Wild Honey that but for now, I've found another reason to return.

Wild Honey
Mandarin Gallery

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bistro Du Vin @ Shawhouse



Paris still remains a city unvisited and much has been heard about the city of love. Bistro Du Vin promises a Parisian experience. Its location by a cobbled path nearly resembles that of Paris.



Quaint and cosy is my first impression.



Pictures speak volumes, black and whites far more.



Glasses of water filled with reused bottles.



Matching checkered towels



Complimentary baguette rolls dished out from a basket by a smiley waitress. I found them a tad dry though it could be the hunger that warranted three more.



Prawn Salad with Lemon Dressing ($12)

Deserving the meal's praise, citrus flavours well played..I've probably have not eaten the equivalent of a hearty chicken salad till this one!



Duck Confit served with French Fries and a small Salad ($32)

This was recommended over Kurobuta Pork Chop that I was equally keen over. If Duck Confit is the French equivalent of Pork Knuckle, this is indeed half a globe apart. Soggy skin with overly salty duck breast.




Char-grilled U.S. Ribeye Steak with Garlic Herb Butter served with French Fries and a small Salad ($42)

In the same meagre portion fashion, this was without a doubt far better than the Duck Confit. Tender beef with robust flavours and french fries that really had nothing else to shout about.

A dampener of that night's dinner came in a form of a verbal reminder that should you suffer from food poisoning after consumption of "outside food" within their premises made them in no way liable. Fair enough a disclaimer but the way we were subtly reminded was intrusive. I'd like to point out that the cake was from the kitchen of Canele just doors away, a thoughtful gesture of the girlfriends for the upcoming birthday. No birthday wishes from the kitchen nor the staff in general apart from the lady at the door...I'm not trying to attempt a Kitchen Tigress-OCBC episode here but I'm sure the rest of the restaurants under Les Amis would have done it differently.

Thoughtfulness is what Bistro Du Vin lacks, overpriced food with a barely there ambience.

Bistro Du Vin

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dinner @ Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

For work reasons, I had the pleasure of "Food Tasting" at Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, almost like a wedding dinner food tasting if you ask me. Comments were to be listed by dish for the kitchen to make the necessary amendments too!



Table laid for gluttony!



Copthorne Cold and Hot Appetizer

I'd say I was takenaback by the variety offered in the Cold Dish. Several bites later, I must say the dinner took off on a good start.

Not quite your usual wedding starter of fried spring rolls, spicy jellyfish or prawn salad, a change I so relished!

Sushi with a smoked tea leaf fragrance, chewy baby squids and bouncy sotong balls that the company devoured several helpings of, smoked duck with tangy fruity sauce and crispy breaded fish cake.



Sweet Corn Soup with Crabmeat and Bamboo Piths

Another pleasant surprise. Chinese vegetable soups normally strike me as thin gruel-like consistency. The kitchen did a fabulous job with the tasty soup, the sweet corn kernels and shredded crab meat and fish maw..I'd gladly swop the substandard gooey Shark's Fin for this!



Golden Crispy Roasted Chicken

As good as a cackling pork skin, crispy wafer thin pieces of skin with slightly bland tender chicken meat. I loved the skin and fried basil leaves best.



Stir Fried Prawn with Black Peppercorn

Overly crunchy crystal prawns, the well cooked asparagus and sprinkle of pistachio nuts was a welcome find.



Braised Mushrooms with Seasonal Vegetables

The variation of mushrooms used pleased me greatly.



Steamed Fresh Seabass in Preserved Yellow Bean Sauce

Not a favourite, one bit. Flesh too soft, slightly fishy.



Stewed Eefu Noodles with Straw Mushrooms and Chives

A tad too oily but nice noodle consistency!



Warmed Sweetened Almond Cream

An overload of sweet, liked the soft white lotus seeds and creamy paste.

The meal started off really nicely but ended off with bit too much slipshodyness with the lack of control on the flavouring. Otherwise, I enjoyed it. Now, it's about maintaining consistency on D-Day itself.

Copthorne Waterfront

Thursday, January 28, 2010

D.O.M.V.S @ Sheraton Towers



"Pay As You Wish" is every diner's dream, a new twist to "Eat All You Can". Methinks it's a marvellous marketing tactic by Sheraton to challenge how much diners would dare to pay. It's definitely not a first, I'm not sure if it's still there but Lao Pat Sat used to have an Indian Rojak stall that fluorished based on the same pricing concept.



Cosy corners with matching trees!



Menu by Chef Carmine Esposito.



Olive oil and butter.




Complimentary bread selection of oatmeal, sour dough and sundred tomatoes. Inconsistent quality of bread served, the second serving was fresher than the first.



Foie Gras Terrine with “Cremona” Mustard and Vincotto Sauce

Foie Gras Terrine that was velvety smooth, loved the whole pairing with preserved fruit! I can never say no to crunchy biscuits, despite its thinness it was that crunchy. Dinner was off to a great start!



Asparagus Soup with Pan seared Scallop, Truffle foam

Truffle that was barely there, the foam served its aesthetic purposes though. This came across more as an oriental soup with sliced asparagus. Thankfully I found a pearl amidst the Orient Sea, a fresh succulent scallop.



Homemade Beef Cannelloni Pasta with Cherry Tomato, Leek sauce

Tasted just like wanton with corned beef.



A peek into the mushy within.




Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herbs Crust Parmesan Cheese served with Potato Confit

A splutter of disappointment. A request for medium ended up medium well, the texture of the beef so tough, I secretly thanked my lucky stars I was not on a date. Each time the knife met the meat, the table almost shook.



Overcooked for medium. Delish potatoes though.



Lemon Crème Mille –Feuille with Strawberry Compote and Mint Jelly Cubes

Honestly, I wish they separated the desserts as the flavours put together simply clashed. There was...

Lemon Creme Mille Feuille done so well, the zesty cream with flaky pastry
Vanilla Bean icecream on a crumbly base that was creamy and a tad sweet
Mint Jelly Cubes that seemed flavoured with toothpaste and the lingering overload of mint
Sour Strawberry Compote

They would have been outstanding on its own, not together.



Pen and paper to grade the experience..

Nearly after the presentation of every single dish, you get offered a dash of pepper. At first I welcomed the additioned, after awhile, it got too much. With similar ingredients used throughout and the same seasoning offered, it has to be most unfortunate that the dishes started tasting uncannily similar.

There was an evident oriental touch in the dishes throughout. I consider it fusion rather than authentically Italian. Hits and misses, personally find it overpriced for quality as such.

Petit fours were missing from the menu valued at $100 per person.

D.O.M.V.S.
Sheraton Towers

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pumpkin Cake @ Taiwan



Kim Koe Pia's from Taiwan! Packed in a box of six and sealed, serves its purpose as a decent souvenir. If they could do the same with smelly toufu, it would be scent-sational and iconic!



Outwardly reminded me of a steamed sweet potato, of which BreadTalk tried to replicate before. The chewy dough-like exterior was sweet and a great accompaniment to its mashed pumpkin filling. Coconuty, smooth and really tasted like sweet potato than pumpkin! I loved it despite the dash of coconut. Somehow it all fell in place and I wish there were more in the box!

Taiwan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prego @ Swissotel 2


Back at Prego's for seconds after the brunch that left sweet memories.




The hateful "min order of one dish per person" rule is making its rounds to many places now. PS Cafe and The Cheesecake Cafe warmly snug with such policies.

Min orders, pay for your water...

I wonder what other policies dining establishments have up their sleeves next...?



Prego's another of those bread places that I adore, loved the bread roulade they serve each table with. Warm and toasty, chewy doughy great stuff!




Baby Spinach Salad with Corn, Asiago Cheese DOP, Boiled Egg, White Cannellini Beans, Red Onion and Honey Mustard Dressing ($20)

Prego signature

I liked how the spinach leaves were not overly raw in taste, the hearty combination of kernels, beans and veggies made this refreshing.




Traditional Bread and Tomato Salad with Ricotta Salata Cheese, oven roasted with Olives and Marinated Anchovies ($18)

Prego signature

Soggy bread with baby cherry tomatoes and cheese that was barely discernible. Unfortunately, I found the marinated anchovies too sour. More pleasing to look eat than taste.




Grilled Eggplant layered with Mozzarella, Parmesan, Tomato Sauce and Basil ($23)

Prego signature

I'm a self confessed fan of eggplant, this dish turned out quite mushy for the others..but I found delight in it.



Spaghetti with Clams, Garlic, Parsley and White Wine Sauce ($25)

Ribbons of pasta made extra tasty with clams!



Linguine with Garlic, Olive oil, Chilli and Breadcrumbs ($22)

I say, it's as boring as it sounds.



Calzone with Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese, Garlic Spinach ($27)

Nothing to shout about with bland ingredients and a thick crust.



Pizza ($27)

Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, Parma Ham, Rocket Salad and Parmesan Shavings

Of the two Prego signatures, this was more palatable with stronger players like parma ham and parmesan shavings. A pity that by the time these were served, they were not piping hot anymore. The chewy crust for both was enjoyable though.

Disappointed that this was far from the scrummylicious ones I had at the Brunch.



Porcini Mushroom, Bacon, Seamorza Cheese and Truffle Oil

Bland. For once, truffle oil was visible but not detected by the nose. Nary the overpowering fragrance that truffle oil exudes.



Fine Chocolate Mousse with Passion Fruit Custard, Cocoa Crunch and Giandua Biscuit ($15)

The chocolate addicts frowned upon the fruit custard that made this bitter, sweet and sour. The cocoa crunch was delish though.



Crispy Cannoli filled with Orange Ivory Cream and Citrus Zest, Lemon Mascarpone Gelato and Berry Compote ($15)

Crispy was certainly an understatement, felt it was crumbly so. The flavours did not blend in harmony as desired.



Tiramisu ($15)

Two portions later, I concur its one of Prego's best desserts.



Overdusted with coffee powder that choked me in my quick bid to taste. Otherwise, loving the smooth mascarpone cheese and coffee soaked sponge.



Neapolitan Traditional Dessert Livened Cake Inzuppato of Sweet Rum, served with Orange-flavoured Gelato and Light Sciroppo ($15)

Coarse cake heavily infused with Rum and Raisins. Did not mind the orange gelato till the ice crystals appeared.




Kahlua-flavoured Icecream with Chocolate Cookies, Caramel and Vanilla Sauce ($15)

Reminiscent of NYDC's mudpie in its heydays, it's one towering dessert that got the table's loudest cheers, literally "wows" were heard muttered. Potency at its best though a tad bitter, the chocolate cookies crunchy and lovely sinful partnering of caramel and vanilla sauce. A personal favourite!



3 scoop Icecream ($13) Lemon Mascarpone, Raspberry & Strawberry Sherbet, Lemon & Lime Sherbet

I wonder why it was ordered when most of the desserts came with icecream or sherbet. I attribute this to the art of amnesia after closing the menu, especially when the description runs longer than 3 words. Case to prove, nobody ever forgets what goes into Tiramisu or Sticky Date Pudding?

Anyhow, apart from the vibrant colours, most part of the time this was sent almost untouched after the first spoonful.



Vanilla and Strawberry Ice-cream dessert with Frozen Jelly ($15)

Pretty to look at though it really tasted like icecream with a sponge base.



The complimentary pralines that brought big smiles throughout the table.


Few dishes truly deserve the "Prego signature" tag though they are really not half as bad. I expected way more given the outstanding Sunday Brunch. Prego's is one of those places that scores during the buffet and somehow did not outshine in its ala carte options.

Service was thankfully prompt and acceptable.

Do I feel compelled to return? Maybe just for the Kahlua icecream!

Prego's
Swissotel