Friday, December 31, 2010

A foodtake of 2010

Following up on last year's list...2010 has since come to a reluctant end. It has been a different year in all aspects. I still stuff myself silly, get excited about new dishes...I still live to eat. I guess that's what is going strong, this curiosity about food in general and that, has brought me new experiences and memories to keep.

Thanks to the group of food bloggers whom I meet up every now and then to catch up. It's been swell knowing you guys...! Food is never the same with you all.

Special thanks to the one and only, very accomodating and thoughtful sis! :) For all the reasons that I've mentioned before, you're truly one of the bestest dining partners I can ever ask for. Breakfast, brunch, tea, lunch, dinner, supper...we've conquered them all.

All the mush aside...here's my perfect 10 this year.

One. Surfing the Menu with Curtis Stone

The first encounter with a celebrity chef. Memorable in more ways than one.

Two. Pierre Herme Macarons

Worthy of all hype and every accolade. Being in the land of macarons made this one of the many reasons why I love Paris.

Three. Belgian Waffle, Brussels

The humble snack that will hold the dearest memories to me.

Four. Stella Maris, Paris

The first michelin starred meal experienced.

Five. Adolf Wagner, Frankfurt

As haughty as it sounds...german food never tasted the same again.

Six. L'Espresso Lounge, Goodwood Park Hotel

It's a tussle between Goodwood and Orchard Meritus' Triple 3...L'Espresso Lounge fulfills all the requirements of a lazy high tea in the most leisurely way ever.

Seven. Uluru Burger Challenge

An attempt on Adam Richman's "Man VS Food."

Eight. K Ki

Still in love with this place though only on payday! The priciest bites of cake around.

Nine. Iggy's

The precious attempt at Iggy's before they made the shift to Hilton.


Ten. Triple 3, Meritus Orchard


I returned twice for this. 'Nuff said.


Happy New Year one and all!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pastelaria Koi Kei (鉅記餅家)

koi kee

Ubiquitous Koi Kee is a must buy in Macau. From Venetian to Ah Ma Temple to St Paul's Ruins...they are everywhere and always packed with tourists. The maindraw of Koi Kee is the generous samples they dish out to every walk-in customer. Walking out hungry is never an option.

I had my fair share of sampling and contributing to their ringing cash registers.

koi kei box

almond cookies

Almond Cookies (MOP 90 at Venetian, MOP 70 at the other attractions)

Never doubt Koi Kei when they insist they are the best. Made entirely from beans, I was surprised lard was not included yet the same fullness was tasted. Liked that this wasn't too sweet, unlike Choi Fung Yuen, another famed export.

stack of phoenis rolls

phoenix roll mess

Phoenix Rolls (MOP

Available in a range of flavours (Pork floss, Curry pork floss, Seaweed, Black Sesame, Original), I was half tempted to lug back these crumbly wafers in two flavours. The Original are stuffed generously with grated coconut which causes a horrible mess but, worth the mess.

crunchy peanut candy

Peanut Candy

Koi Kei also prides itself as the peanut candy specialist. Crunchy cubes of candies, the family loved it to bits.On the sweet side but the sweet tooth ain't complaining!

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Almond Flake Cookies

Promoted as a bestseller, I can easily see why. The sugar crusted almond layer is crunchy while the layers beneath are flaky and crispy. A snack with so much depth, yum!

I was made a sucker at Venetian...what was I thinking when I naively thought uniformity of prices acrossboard. It IS Venetian for crying out loud. Prices are generally MOP 20 more expensive, by the way. That would save alot of lugging, assuming you stayed at Venetian.

koi kee portugese tarts

The famous that I could not resist, especially spotting them roasting in the warmer.
pocket of portugese egg tart

Packed in little satchets...I held onto it gingerly. At a pocket friendly MOP 5, these were snapped up with each batch of tourists that swarm the shophouse.

scrummy

Oilier than Lord Stow's, the tart base is reminiscent of a good Chicken Pie base. The same complex layers was replicated here too. Not too bad a measure up against Lord Stow's I say!
It is ambitious leaving empty handed at any of their outlets. Temptations galore yet Koi Kei is quite a master of its own, the various snack ranges are equally outstanding!

Pastelaria Koi Kei (鉅記餅家)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cafe Deco @ The Venetian, Macau

breakfast cafe

Cafe Deco is one of the largest dining places in Venetian Macau that can take up to 2000 people all at once! They have an resident band that plays nightly though I did not have a chance to enjoy any of that. Morning breakfast begins early and bright at 630am.

buffet line

Spotting a buffet line that drags on for at least a kilometer, the choices are mind boggling. The crowds rival the buffet line too, at any one point...there is someone hovering around the tray and piling his plate mountain high.

pastries

Pastries that were sunbathing under the warm lighting. Stealthily I filled the plate, one after another...and soon, it was carb-laden.

Crusty croissants, apple turnovers, almond croissants and moist mini muffins are just a few of breakfast perk me ups!

french toasties

French Toast drizzled with maple syrup...it's been a darn long while my breakfast began on such a high sugary note! Yummy!

dimsum

Dimsum galore for the adventurous.Skip everything except the custard dumpling.

western

A farmer's breakfast? Cafe Deco fares better at the western than eastern delights.

eggs

Fried egg, ham, smoked salmon...on my imaginary toast.

abit of everything

Nothing too memorable from the plate of here-there-everywhere.

indian

A bit of this and that gets you filled up quite unknowingly. I could not resist trying out their Indian cuisine.The most memorable had to be this that looked like potato salad but was actually made of grains.

Wasn't too impressed by Cafe Deco, it's a place more for variety than taste. Horrendous crowds too.

Cafe Deco
Venetian Macau

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fogo Samba @ Venetian

fogo samba

Breakfast vouchers at Venetian give you a choice of three breakfast outlets: Fogo Samba, Cafe Deco and some pub. This suits long stay travellers who intend to stay for long and not have to eat the same spread day in day out. I had a family friend who put up at a hotel for months and he got so sick of the buffet spread that repeated itself like a broken recorder week after week.

We checked out Fogo Samba because the pub seemed boring.

christmasy interior

A christmasy feel to the buffet table. It was a tad too dim for breakfast though very cosy. Spread was quite limited as compared to the neverending options at Cafe Deco. At least I did not have to jostle with a bunch of perpetually hungry diners!

bread basket

Loading up on the carbs for a long day ahead! Nothing too wow that deserves a second helping though. The sandwiches were perhaps left out too long, the texture was too coarse.

grilled brekkie items

Whilst waiting for my omelette, I smelled something great barbequeing. Though the writeup of the restaurant did mention the inclusion of Churrascaria being a specialty, I did not expect it to be part of the breakfast spread! Seeing a pudgy guy go round with a skewer was scent-tationalizing.


Barbequed Chicken


Holysmokes good! Tender succulent meat with a lovely smokey finish.


Barbequed Pineapple


Honeyed goodness, I loved the crispy sugared layer that gave way to the juiciest pineapple. I normally do not enjoy fruits preserved or cooked but these were amazing. 


Barbequed Sausage


I'm beginning to believe that anything barbequed tastes extraordinarily good. Fat, plump and overflowing with juices...sausages never tasted better.



I've not had the chance to try out Brazilian barbeque before but this was a great start to it! These smelt so good, I was all perked up. Works wonders, like caffeine for coffee addicts.


omelette

Another shot of the yummylicious.

The only live station available was cholesterol laden - Eggs, any style you want and assuming they understood. Poached, scrambled, sunny side up, fried, omelette...

I had mine with ham, cheese and smoked salmon.Honestly, I've not had a bad egg fry up before from a live station at least.

indian items

Word has it that Venetian's clientele makes up of mostly Indian nationals and I suppose this is partly why Indian cuisine was incorporated into the buffet spread. Chickpeas, samosas stuffed with vegetables and some curry. Nothing too authentic here.

cakes!

Dessert consisted of a table of bundt cakes in various flavours. You either love or hate it.

bundt cakes

Orange and raspberry for me. Moist butter cake with a pleasant finish.

Breakfast at Fogo Samba was more than sufficient and fulfilling to start the day with. A lovely experience indeed! Between this and Cafe Deco's, I say...Fogo Samba!

Fogo Samba

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vin Nah Restaurant @ Macau

Fat Siu Lau would have been my choice for Portugese food but we ended up at Vin Nah instead. It was right smack in the Grand Pix fever. Inspite of claims that it was "fully booked", the kitchen was already fumbling with broken glasses and frazzled staff who exclaimed they have never been so busy before.

vin nah interior

Loved the whole feel of the place...as if I were dining in someone's vineyard.

A choice of red wine or juice to start off the meal. The wine was so acidic, it would have burnt a hole in my stomach walls if I emptied the glass.

bread

Flattened bread rolls to ease the hunger pangs.

corn soup

Seafood soup that cannot get more homemade than this.

salad

The simplest salad ever put together with two slices of tomato, a sprig of onion rings and a bed of lettuce, sans dressing.

perch

Perch, supposedly the restaurant's signature. Mushy was its tragic end.

steak

Steak for me and it left me speechless. Too salty for comfort.Done-ness was asked as part of protocol since they all arrived cooked the same way.

longan jelly

For once, I was glad the meal was drawing to an end. Longan jelly, the most delish of the meal.

I say, portugese food in my memory should not be as shellshocking as experienced.One thing though, avoid Vin Nah please.

Vin Nah Restaurant 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Foodcourt @ Venetian

You can hardly go hungry in Venetian, unless you're looking for a supermart which was almost non existent to find in Macau's main tourist spots. Even 7-11s are a rarity. Foodcourts are not exactly pocket friendly but definitely cheaper than restaurants.

HKD and MOP are used interchangeably though there is disparity in the currencies.

Gui Ling Bao
Lvl 3, Shop 2520

gui lin bao

I found the name cute enough to do a detour.

herbal jelly

HKD 98 has to be the priciest gui lin gao ever consumed. Portions are oh-my-god kind of small as well. I say it's a conspiracy but it is the case for theme parks, casinos and isolated resorts. Rip off.

Nary the familiar pungent herbal fragrance nor taste, this was a notch better than grass jelly but that was really all there is to it.


Ocean Empire Congee
Lvl 3, Shop 2501

mushroom ball congee

Mushroom Ball Porridge

Ordinary tum-warming stuff. The porridge was a tad watered down.

zha leong



























Zha Leong in Macau! Overly salty sauce with limp cheong fun stuffed with chewy fried doughstick.

Memory fails me which stall this came from but the banner was screaming "Macau famous". 

pork chop bun

The first attempt of their famous pork chop buns. I say...f.o.r.g.e.t. i.t. Bread aside, consistent supplier after eating a couple of pork chop buns. The pork chop tastes like Farmland, only saltier.

I rather eat my heart's out at Lord Stow's than to bother with the foodcourt. There are of course other alternatives, try at your pocket's risk.

Venetian

Saturday, December 25, 2010

L'Entrecote @ Duxton Hill

Special thanks to David from Ate Consulting, Olivier and his awesome team from L'Entrecote!

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Macarons, labels and cafes make Paris my favouritest city alive (amongst the handful I've been to!).The greatest regretable takeaway of Paris is not being able to find time in a lil Parisan cafe to laze, soak in the sun and people watch.

10,000 miles away in Singapore...there is an option in the form of L'Entrecote next to Les Bouchons that tries to bring a wee bit of Paris here. My only brushes with Duxton Hill have been limited to Flor Patisserie and Uluru. L'Entrecote's nabbed itself a snug location right on top of the hill. On a weekday afternoon, it was fairly packed for lunch.


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Bottles of bubbly..

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Smiles greeted me and I was shown to the cosiest corner with the most enchanting high ceiling ever! I spent a great deal of time gazing at the warmly lit light bulbs dangling precariously above my head.

Paper-lined tables with neatly folded napkins and cutlery adorn the checked napkin drapped table. The menu is simple, entrees and desserts offer more choices while there is just one choice for mains - Steak frites.

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A Kir Royale aperitif of blackcurrant cream liqueur and champagne was readily poured into flutes for us...a lovely way to steal time away from work and let the mind get slightly intoxicated. Loved the sweet hues of the apertif, the alcohol was clearly well masked given the rate I slurped it down so enthusiastically. 

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Still or sparkling...? Neither for me.

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Complimentary basket of baguette. The closest we've got to baguette from Paris, the dense chewy bread brought back memories...lovely memories.Word has it that they air fly in Poilâne bread from the famed Parisian bakery to ensure freshness...not THAT explains it! Poilâne, a bakery I've heard so much about yet missed it when I was there!

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Unsalted butter so velvety.

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Seconds are most necessary which was better than the first, hot off the oven! A pity the third was not delivered. 

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Escargots de Bourgogne ($14)
Snails with parsley butter and garlic

A strong contender of Au Petit's, these are milder in flavour though equally sinful for bread dipping. I cannot find anything more french an appetizer than escargots though I have to admit I was swaying towards the duck rillette.

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Dripping with sin.

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I had to pair it with the yummilicious bread!

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Walnut Green Salad

Fresh crisp greens and a toss of walnuts make this salad so healthy! An extra dash of vinegar would have given this more flavour.


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Their means of identifying your steak's doneness.

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L'Entrecote Steak ($29)

Single portions are good enough for sharing. I forgot the doneness of beef in French cooking should be ordered one level down, i.e. medium for medium well. Anyhow the steak was done medium and sliced thoughtfully before serving.

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Kudos to the kitchen for handling the steak so well, the evenness in searing the beef! Each bite is succulent but could be better if there was a beefy taste to it. Otherwise, the sauce that came with it made this an absolute star of its own.

A must mention on the way L'Entrecote ensures the diners always get to eat their food piping hot, each single portion of steak is divided into two servings. While you heartily tuck into the first, the second is roasting and kept warm under light and served when appropriate. How thoughtful!

Creamy, sour and herb-infused, the legendary sauce was definitely hard to decipher much to the relief of amused Olivier who bantered "I'm not gonna tell you either!". Dousing each slice of steak in sauce was sheer delight. The closest hint I got from the menu to their secret recipe is..."butter based sauce." Their mustard is equally delish.

Shoestring fries retained most of its crunch even after the beefy star was duly wiped off the dish.

As weak willed I may seem, no matter how full I am...desserts are always hard to resist.

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Lemon Tart ($12)

Described as "a must", I was looking forward to my socks being blown off. Looking like a plain jane without fanciful lemon rins nor squirts of ole fashioned whipped cream, I dug my fork into it. The lemon curd had a pleasant sour taste on the plain tasting tart. 

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Profiteroles de L'Entrecot ($14)
Vanilla bean ice-cream profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce

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Usually served smothered in rich chocolate sauce, I made a request for them to be separated. Nobody else does them quite like L'Entrecote, even Au Petit's fell flat with disappointment.

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The puff pastries despite being choux pastry has a lovely bite and density to it. Paired with a ball of vanilla icecream, it was beyond mamma mia to describe. One setback however, do not attempt to stuff the tempting scoop of icecream (no matter how deceivingly small it may look!) into your mouth...or end up freezing your row of pearlies just like me. Frost biten, yet deservingly so. It would have been better if the icecream had a milkier finish but it was simply...good. Undoubtedly a best seller...perhaps L'Entrecote can term this their "must have" instead!

The French have been known for their haughty service, not L'Entrecote. Warm service dished throughout with Olivier making his table rounds and checking on customers. Liked that personal touch! The only haughty sign of things would perhaps be their no reservations policy.

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On the way out, I spied an interesting poster to sum up what L'Entrecote is all about.

"We never allow customers to walk away hungry", the waiter quipped. I totally agree, I walked away more than full, satisfyingly so. Rustic french is what L'Entrecote serves up, sincere and modest french fare without the pomp and fuss of the other well established.There's so much more to discover about L'Entrecote and for sure, I'll be back!

www.lentrecote.sg

L'Entrecot
36 Duxton Hill