Saturday, April 30, 2011

Food For Thought Revisited @ Queen Street

food for thought

Weekdays, weekends and brunches go so hand in hand...I'm kind of reloving this whole weekend arrangement. Armed with a pancake craving, we headed to Food For Thought though Cedele was hot on the heels of choice.

Get greeted by a signage that prompts of a potential 45 minute wait.
Enter and be warned of a 30 minute wait.
10 minutes passed and you get shown to a window seat.
Within another 5, get shifted to a proper table.
Talk about service surprises...or the other way of looking at it is, it was a deliberate well planned strategy.

cutlery

Cynics aside...I was there for pancakes and knew immediately where the tum was headed to.

houseworks

House Works ($12)
Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Toasted Brioche, Hash Brown with Roasted Tomato Salad

I reckon the Mc-education system is successful for breakfast without pancakes and the equivalent of Big Breakfast is barely complete. FFT answered the call for completeness with House Works or an upsized Full Works. Yet, unlike Big Breakfast...House Works was bigger in ambition than taste. Decent scrambled eggs with delish hash potato balls. The rest which shall not get mentioned too highly of. I don't get the sweet crumbly brioche though, it was really mismatched.

ketchup chilli

Their ketchup is actually pasta sauce which was really interesting.

banana walnut pancakes


Duo of Pancakes - Banana and Walnut ($10)
Fresh cream and gula melaka syrup

15 minutes later, my stack of two pancakes arrived in such grandeur, I was already salivating. Moist fluffy pancakes paired with sweetened fresh cream that would have passed off as melted icecream was divine. Gave me the much needed hearty sugar boost for the day. Loved the crunchy walnuts sprinkled ontop and embeded within..not forgetting the bananas which made this so wholesome. Best part of it all, gula melaka syrup in replacement of the usual maple syrup. I liked how the pancakes started off my obsession with brunch...and how the craving was well-satisfied.

Make pancakes at FFT a must!

I once struck FFT off the list after the experience at North Bridge road and a subpar one at Queen's Street..but the exception will be made for pancakes. If people watching is your thing...I spied Dawn Yang there...!

Food For Thought
8 Queen Street

Friday, April 29, 2011

Capricci Revisited @ Tanjong Pagar Road

capricci

The most addictive thing about birthdays is...the celebrations are in parts. One, two, three..and it goes on and on and on. The 1-for-1 set lunch made it all the more worthwhile! Back at Capricci for lunch, after dinner the last visit.

candlelights

Resembles a scene from Beauty and the Beast?

tables

Too early for lunch?

bread!

Complimentary bread basket which was significantly dough-ier, denser and crustier.

onion bread

Yet above all, the onions were indiscernible...I remember it being better.

dirty basket napkin

 Do I spy vinegar stains on the cloth? No refills though.

carrot mousse

Carrot Souffle was the same as their famed asparagus souffle. The beancurd-otah texture blended in with carrots was tasty but that really is just about it.

salad

Vegetable salad was a tad old, the leaves were no longer crunchy nor fresh.

tuna pasta

Fusilli with Tuna which turned out to be chicken. The pasta was cooked just right but something about it...tasted just homemade. Despite that, it was a hearty one..which filled the tum greatly.

salmon

Heavy weight of the meal.

salmon raw

Grilled salmon fared tons better though. Adored the doneness of the salmon steak, mostly raw but welldone at the edges. Relished the idea of having salted grilled zucchini wrapped around it, bravo for that! It upped the flavour by quite a few notches.

panna cotta

Panna cotta was the dessert of the day and it was shaped like the souffle. I remember it being their signature yet this appeared alot more like beancurd agar agar with its stiffness.

tiramisu

Birthday tiramisu on the house...complete with a waiter who attempted to serenade me with a half past six happy birthday song. Through the years, I still have not learnt to appreciate tiramisu..soaked sponge and all. The coffee addict loved it though.

The honest truth about set lunches and promotions is, it may not be a fair judgement of what the restaurant is capable of. Most if not all the time, the skill of the chef shines through ala carte. That being said..based on price alone, their set lunches are worth more than a while.

Capricci
Tanjong Pagar Road

Thursday, April 28, 2011

L'Angelus @ Ann Siang Hill

Chanced upon L'Angelus one evening when we were feeling European...Nazt Bistro was closed...Da Paolo looked forlorn and Cugina was filled.

l'angelus interior

Step into a world of cosy luxury when you enter L'Angelus along Ann Siang Hill.

tables

L'Angelus is a cosy French place at Ann Siang Hill...just next to Cugini and opposite Jerry's Grill. Not sure why I hardly took notice of the charm that ASH exudes previously but I think I am falling in love with the place. Like a first love that sweeps you off your feet...

plate

Plates specially customised for Singapore!

table light

Love them table lamps?

tables

Something about it makes me feel like in Paris.

The first visit there was mainly for dessert...as frivolous as that sounds.

IMG_1135

Last minute cooked Apple Pie, Cinnamon icecream, Calvados ($12)

25 minute wait is imposed for this..and a well worthwhile one! A flat pastry base lined beautifully with apple slices and baked to a lovely brown...the mere whiff sent me to sugary clouds and beyond. With a dash or two of calvados, the alcohol barely kicked in but provided a nice twist to the "safe" dessert. Cinnamon icecream with apple pie...yummy, is seriously an understatement.

IMG_1130


Raspberry Sherbet topped with Cremant from Burgundy ($18)

First, a champagne glass of mini scoops of sherbet is placed infront of you then the sparkling wine bottle is popped before the bubbly is filled up. Theatrics aside, the strange thing happened with the sherbet scoops, they solidified into raspberry clumps. I suppose the sparkling wine and raspberry does not quite go together..while the raspberry sherbet dissolved into the wine, what was left was a caustic path which was not the smoothest of all wines.

Their main course menu looks too enticing...shall schedule a return soon to suss them out! Well for a start, Poilane bread is part of it...! Service is surely not on the top of their agenda with waitresses putting on quite a pretentious front, bothering with tables that had proper mains.

Fast forward 2 weeks later,  I was back for dinner! They open their doors promptly at 7pm for dinner and we were made to wait outside till it struck 7. Not too sure what's with the exact timing for dinner. Nonetheless, being the first diners for the night, we had the liberty to pick a cosy corner. L'Angelus handles mostly walk-ins as seen from the crowd that trickled in.

bread basket

Baskets of Poilane bread got served but they were a tad hard and served lukewarm. A great pity given such an awesome piece of culinary art! The first experience of Poilane at L'Entrecote was divine and this simply was miles off.You get refills promptly without much fuss until you insist otherwise.

mozzarella

Mozzarella cheese!

pasta!

Mini Raviolis, specialty from "Le Royans", filled with fresh Cheese ($24)

pasta

I had my reservations about having pasta in a French place but decided to go ahead anyway. Smooth pockets of cheese pasta, eating these were so delightful.Well flavoured cheese dumplings smothered in cheese, almost. I had a whale of a cheesy time sprinkling mozzarella all over. Two thumbs up for this!

escargot2

Burgundy Snails in Claypots ($28)

escargot1

Escargots are always a must...these were a tad oily though the garlic did not pack quite the punch I was looking for. Furthermore, the escargots were somewhat soft to bite. L'Entrecot still tops this one.

duck confit

Duck Confit with Potato Chips "Salardaise" in Goose Fat ($42)

duck confit1

Opted for Duck Confit which came with a portion of fries fried like chips and a grilled tomato. While the meat was teased off quite easily, what was clearly missing was the succulence of meat and crispy skin. Off the record, Clifford's droolicious fared better here.

chips

I've got to admit the way they did their chips was unforgettable, potato chips made from scratch!

apple tart

Orange Suzettes were tempting me so but the heart went for the same apple tart I fell in love with the last time! This time round, it took 15 minutes..they kindly proportioned it for two this time! The dash of calvados was a drop too much resulting in the tart being bitter. Otherwise, the same charming apple pastry that charmed my socks off again!

nougat iced dessert

Honey iced dessert ($12) was dubious but the adventurous companion was adamant about it turning out fantabulous. In short, fruitcake icecream with all the dried fruits embedded within. Nothing to scream about.

Dining at L'Angelus was a pleasant and exquisite experience. I was mostly distracted by the paintings or pictures they adorned on the wall...enthralled I was for a good part of the dinner..starring intently at the decor. Service though attentive is somewhat contrived. Unlike its other french counterparts, it is perhaps less high profile and I'm glad I found this little gem!

L'Angelus
85 Club Street

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kha @ 38 Martin

Special thanks to SiHui for the invite!

martin no 38

Off the beaten track of Robertson Quay and Robertson Walk is 38 Martin. Housing Kha, Graze and Provisions, one can easily mistake this cluster as a warehouse...given the ongoing construction just near it.


lonely plant

Seats just outside..for waiting purposes?

signage

Signages loud and clear - loving the black and white contrast!



kha


Finally at the doorsteps of Kha.

We were brought on a tour around 38 Martin where the restaurants are all interconnected.

provisions

Provisions - At first impression I vaguely remembered reading somewhere it was a mini mart (like Provision shop?) but it's actually a takeaway concept like Da Paolo Gastronomia or Coffeebean for the people on the go to pick up coffee or a pastry. They do offer wine, beer and dried pasta options for those heading home for a lovely cookout as well. Adored the blue fridges!


love the wall

Kitschy wall.

provisions wall menu

Wall of takeaway temptations.

provisions takeaway

More under the glass jars.

chess pieces

Chess pieces that were uber cute!

tables outside

Graze - No stranger to this hidden brunch place in Rochester, this is the second outlet with a
revamped menu though hot favourites are still retained.

brunch menu

Brunch? Lunch? Dinner?

graze cold kitchen

Private dining is available...and I adore the chill room with preserved meats!

cosy

Reminiscent of P.S. Cafe at Harding Road eh?

interior of graze

A particular corner that I adore...the dining area with chairs as the main design. Arty farty...I love!

While both concepts were mainly open with large usage of glass panels, Kha is alot more discreet and cosy. Minimally lit, I reckon this is the most romantic of the three and perfect for a date or girls night out. They shifted over from the previous location at Hortpark.

herbs

Enter and be charmed by the plants every now and then...I spotted a chilli plant!

wall decor

Interesting concept of placing ornaments in pigeon holes.

flowers

A resort-ish orchid pool.

cosy corner

Intimate corner.

tables

cute painting

The stamp painting was really interesting to look at.

newspaper menu

Newspaper menus to complete the experience.

rolled napkin

Little details like these - napkins tied with a string and cinnamon stick.

rice cracker appetizer

Service was warm and friendly from the start with a starter of rice crackers and seafood curry placed served. Crunchy rice crackers meet spicy curry, I say the marriage is a devilish one. Two finger licking thumbs up for this!

pomegranate drinks

House speciality of Ruby Starlet ($12)
Signature Kha Mocktail with Pomegranate, Fresh Mint Leaves, Lychee Juice and Fresh Lime Juice

A first attempt at the pomegranate fruit, fresh pomegranate capsules were sprinkled in the drink...lovely visual treat in all its crimson redness. One yummy fruit mocktail I must add...a different drink amidst Shirley Temples and Pussyfoots. 

pomegranate closeup


Pomegranate is good to look at but acquired to taste..upon chewing the juices burst out of the sacs most readily yet unlike most fruits, the aftertaste is not sweet.


green chillis stuffed with meat and dips

Crispy Whole Chili Filled with Pork and Herbs ($14)
Malibu Chili Soy, Tom Yum, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces

green chilli stuffed with meat

I thought this had Mexican influences rather than being authentically Thai...liked the twist in this! Would have preferred if the chilli was spicy but it came across more like green pepper fritters.

dips

The dipping sauce of Malibu Chilli Soy had liquor infused, brilliant! Both tom yum and honey mustard were mayo based and flavours were not too obvious.

wagyu beef salad

Saur Rong Hai ($20)
Thai Beef Salad of Seared Strip Loin, Nam Jim, Herbs

It smelt and looked amazing when laid on the table.

wagyu beef salad proportioned

Aroma of the herbs and seared beef was a distraction yet when tossed it looked much like a kimchi dish with the red sauce. The beef was tender though not melt worthy and salad was refreshing.

salad

Yam Tang ($17)
Poached Chicken and Pomegranate Salad, Cucumber, Herbs, Green Leafs, Cashew

Actually preferred this over the beef salad. Pomegranate once again gave the salad a juicier bite. Loved the crunchy bits here..a nice variation from the usual papaya or mango salad I would order.

very spicy

Tom Yum Goong ($18)
Hot and Sour King Prawn Broth, Lemongrass

Comes in three levels of spiciness - Medium, Spicy, Very Spicy. My tolerance for spice is quite high so the "very spicy" was not mighty enough to bring on a watery nose. Otherwise, it was still a shiok tomyum soup.Unlike the clear broth tomyum goong in thailand, this had more flavours infused into it which I attribute to the generous succulent king prawn and shrimps used.Thoughtful plates are laid out infront of you to collect the prawn shells.

tom yam goong

Look at those beady eyes that peepeth above the spicy broth.

love the folds

I'm hooked on those curly folds of flesh!

3 prawns

A large and two small...I say prawns over squid for my tom yum goong!

There is a choice of brown or white rice ($4), free flow! Relished the idea of them going around with a rattan basket dishing it out...just a novel experience that is befitting of communal dining.

trio of curries

Gaeng Sam Yang ($32)
3 Signature Kha Curries (Green Chicken, Penang Beef, Red Vegetarian)

Arriving in three little pots, this has to be a great way to please the fickle minded! Have your curries and taste them, literally.


Green Curry - Lemak and fragrant enough.

Penang Beef - While I do not see the Thai flavour in this, it was a less sinful version of the usual
Beef rendang with beef lemongrass skewers.

young coconut closeup

Red Vegetarian - A first vegetarian red curry for me but I was more intrigued by the fruits used in this than the taste of it. Imagine pineapple and grapes! The portion of crunchy young coconut was a welcomed addition.

crabmeat omelette

Wok Fried Omelette Topped with Thai Herb Salad, Crab ($18)

 Simply fried egg stuffed with crabmeat chunks.

fried soft shell crab

Poo Yam
Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Green Mango Salad, Chilli Lime Dressing
 
Quail's egg made this dish interesting judging from the name but it was just sliced boiled quail's egg as an accompaniment to the tangy flavoured soft shell crab.

pad thai

Phad Thai ($16)
Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Grilled Prawn, Tofu, Banana Blossom Salad,Grilled Whole Pepper

The noodles were a tad too moist but still a delish one.

DSC_0158

Papa Adun’s Phad Tow Hu ($14)
Papa Adun’s Famous Wok Fried Crispy Tofu, Crispy Basil, Three Flavour Sauce

The same seasoning used for this and the soft shell crab, the batter was alot more lighter here. The wok fried tofu squares still retained a lovely crunch towards the end.

sticky black rice and date pud

Cake Khao Neaw Dam ($14)
Black Sticky Rice and Date Pudding, Mango Ice Cream, Tamarind Caramel Sauce

It was both "sticky rice" and "date" pudding that tickled the palatte. While I thought the mango icecream was pretty awesome with the fruit cleverly churned into the icecream, the pudding's mildly bitter aftertaste was acquired. Credit has to be given to the kitchen for a lovely pudding texture though and had it not been for the bitterness it would have been quite a spectacular sticky rice and date pudding! Top marks for creative usage of sticky rice and tamarind here...loved the asian hints.

mango cheeks

Caramel Ma Muang Suk ($12)
Grilled Mango Cheeks and Lime,Lychee Fruit Sorbet, Mango Sauce

And now, I am educated where are the mango cheeks. The two juicy cuts after the seed are mango cheeks! Grilled to a delicious brown, the sweet mango and zesty lychee sorbet provided a lovely contrast.

pumpkin custard

Sang Kha Ya Fug Thong ($13)
Baked Pumpkin Custard, Shredded, Fruits, Coconut Ice Cream, Fresh Mango Puree

Lauded as a signature, I was most looking forward to it. Visually pleasing with much effort put into baking the custard in the pumpkin. The pumpkin custard had a curd texture and pumpkin was soft.

sticky mango rice

Khao Neaw Ma Muang ($14)
Mango and Sticky Rice Drizzled with Coconut Pandan Sauce

Coconut pandan sauce stole the limelight here! Loved the pariing of ingredients for the sauce. The grilled mango cheeks were sweeter than these and it would not hurt if the sticky rice was slightly sweetened.

red ruby

Thap Thim Krwap ($13)
Red Rubies, Coconut Jasmine Syrup, Shaved Ice

A classic Thai dessert, it had Bandung moments tasted in this dessert beverage. The sprinkling of flowers made this uber girlie! 


lemon grass tea


Lemongrass Tea

The lemongrass fragrance was incredibly strong. I was expecting an iced version but the hot one was a nice beverage to calm the tum after a fiery meal.

 mocha


Mocha 

From the kitchen of Provisions, this was a lethal brew - Rich, indulgent and so very comforting.

proportioning the food


Taking the cue from chinese sit down dinners, the servers go round diligently to proportion your dishes for you.Service is prompt throughout the night despite the restaurant being packed with expats. The distance could be a stumbling block for some but it is a breath of fresh air amongst the usual European eats along Robertson Quay and Riverside.

The winelist is extensive..in fact the number of pages matches that of the food section! I reckon Kha could be a chill out place more so than dining. Appetizers served up prove to be great grub for the drinks.

Kha offers fine Thai dining with contemporary touches in its dishes. No doubt it is positioned as a fine dining Thai place but it actually shines in its non-thai dishes.

www.kha.sg

Kha
38 Martin Road