Sunday, July 31, 2011

DB Bistro @ Marina Bay Sands

db bistro

When DB Bistro opened at MBS, I knew I had to try it. Their signature burger has been hailed as THE burger of all time and I figure the Americans would have gotten some of the burger-logy right. Reservations for weekday dinners are very necessary, I've heard of full house situations one time too many. However for Sunday Brunch in particular, the crowd only starts streaming in after 12.

menu

Expected a more frivolous-looking menu.

interior

The rest of the empty place.

lonely table

With the tiles and window panes, this looked really old school.

brunch

Brunch alert!

croque monsieur

Croque Monsieur ($21)
French Ham, Swiss Cheese, Mesclun

I'm not sure if the Mom knew what Croque Monsieur was years ago when the made us the most unforgettable sandwich of all time. Local bread sandwiching honey baked ham and cheese, seared over the oven. Without the decadence of melted cheese draping it, it has become my comfort food at home for the longest time.

So there was the chance encounter at Fullerton's Post Bar that sparked off this interest in Croque Monsieur. DB Bistro did well for this - loved the balance of cream cheese and swiss cheese without being too cloying. Delicious cut of ham used. Loved this brunch treat, in all simplicity.

trio of condiments

Condiments for their signature! Mayo, Mustard and Ketchup.

db burger

The Original DB Burger ($38)
Sirloin Burger Filled with Braised Short Ribs & Foie Gras. Served on a Parmesan Bun

So this is what I went to DB Bistro for. I got lost in the scrutiny of the bun to take notice of the fragrance of the parmesan bun, if any.

db signature

My burger to medium doneness.

more

Have to give the signature yet another food-porn shot. It is a complex burger. The layers and multitude of ingredients put together in the thick patty. In fact, shave off the toasted parmesan buns and relish, all you've got is a chunky beef patty.

I hate to say this but parmesan buns or not, it barely made the difference fragrance or taste wise. Too mild to remember, even. The tragic end to the bottom bun resulted in a soggybun and squashed tomato slices. As much as I would have loved to hold the burger in my hands and stuff my face in it, it proved a difficult task even cutting through the burger and trying to fork through it. Fortunately or unfortunately, I ate my burger in layers.

So there's foie gras, beef ribs and sirloin all in the patty. Tricky business with one of the three overshadowing the rest. Kudos to the kitchen for mastering such fine work - salty on the charred outsides, bland on the moist rare beefy insides, tasty beef ribs and mindblowing foie gras. Above it all, it was truly a good burger. Not great though, I went to suss out the fuss and satisfied the curiosity.

Service is contrived, on the borders of superficial. Crowd only started filling the place thereafter.

lv

Managed to steal a picture with the iconic LV at MBS. Mighty one, I say!

DB Bistro
Marina Bay Sands

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Otto Ristorante Revisited @ Red Dot Musuem

Pasta. The deal for the night out with the gf. The best pasta. I'm wary of using "best" since it's relative (to whether or not the previous pastas were subpar..and ignorant of the future pastas being orgasmically great). Anyhow, I headed back to Otto with some apprehension after the last attempt at set lunch was dismal.

otto interior

The restaurant filled up so quickly, reservations are always recommended.

amuse bouche

Amuse bouche of avocado cream and blue swimmer crab, a tad fishy for comfort.

bread

Complimentary bread that I dig so much. Only the favourites made it to the plate this time.

Onion bread, cranberry bread and olive bread with balsamic and olive oil. By now, my personal favourite goes to onion bread..for the density and satisfaction derived.

soup

Livorno Style Seafood Soup in Light Tomato Broth ($18)

seafood zuppe

Personally thought the broth was a tad light with chunks of seafood.

sea urchin x roe

Spaghetti with Sea Urchin and Grey Mullet Botarga ($30)

I knew I had to try it when I saw it. Maybe it's the sea urchin or grey mullet botarga but no harm since both were calling out to me. Tossed in both prized ingredients and sliced cucumber, there was nothing carnivorous about it. Being the ultimate carnivore, I was already making plans for a protein supper before even trying it.

insane

H.E.A.V.E.N. is what it is. I'm not sure how sea urchin ought to be described but surely tastes miles away from how it does on sushi. Rich complex flavour it has. Grey mullet and sea urchin = one of the world's greatest gastronomical marriages. Loved how the spaghetti was done - enough bite.

I love, love and love it to death. Tough fight for this and Cugini's for favourite pasta.

boston lobster

Linguine Boston Lobster in Light Spicy Tomato Sauce ($38)

I stole of bite of the gf's top favourite from Otto. Very rightfully so - intense flavours and oh-so-delicious! I already want to head back just for this.

mango panna cotta

Mango Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis ($14)

As long as it wobbles, it's a good panna cotta. My definition of it at least...a nice twist to otherwise vanilla panna cotta. Not wow but good.

Ala carte does do justice to restaurants, sometimes. For Otto, it opened me up to their sparkling dishes...dishes that I never knew could change my perception of it so much. Stick with the pastas, their mains and dessert can be hits or misses.

Until the next visit, bon appetit!

Otto Ristorante
Red Dot Museum

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pocky-land!

an obsession

No big secret how insane I can get in supermarts and collecting edibles by brands - Kit Kats and Pockys for a start. There's an Oreo post lurking somewhere. Localisation in a globalisation manner....the marketeer in me gets floored by it every now and then though deep down, I am fully aware it's purely marketing and product expansion. I amuse the companions every single time when I start fixating on things that come in various flavours...box by box I fill my basket with them and then, face problems dragging them back to the hotel.
milk tea pocky


Pretz - Coffee and Milk

The fragrance of this is hard to miss and the colours used resembled a pretzel biscuit but that was really all about it. Kudos on creativity!
milk pocky

Milk Pocky

Unlike those found locally, the biscuit was a darker shade and milk taste was less subtle.

cappucino pocky

Cappucino - Drinks are still more potent.

butter pocky

As ordinary as these butter flavoured ones looked, adored the light buttery hints and fragrance. Made this savoury more sweet than not, yum!
green tea mousse

Green Tea Mousse - A different take on the usual with green tea mousse within. Reminded me of a biscuit cannoli. Decent though mild.
double choc

Double chocolate - the closest to the real thing. Rich and chocolatey!

The point about China-made anything is they perhaps nailed the fragrance but failed to score in the replication of taste - unlike the ingenious Japanese.


Each costs approx RMB 5-6.

pockys

These were nabbed in Hongkong...I was still riding high on the pocky wave then.
pocky savoury

Seafood flavour
savoury pocky

Shark's Fin flavour

Honestly, the taste is expectedly not obvious. Nonetheless, liked the thickness of the pockeys. Gave it enough bite and well, savoury pockys are equally delish and addictive!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lounge @ Park Plaza Beijing Hotel

I missed the chance to check out Beijing's nightlife or even the night landscape (as much as I try to achieve that with every trip!). Great pity as the chilly winds were most discouraging. And I completely forgot my list of "to-check-out" places...thinking that we would not have much time on our own.

It seems that the hotels along Wang Fu Jing does not have much of a chill ambiance - no resident band in the few hotels that we checked out. Not Regent, nor The Legendes (looks really colonial from outside!) or even Park Plaza where we were staying at.

bar

Not much of a choice so we lounged at the lobby - what a pun!

baileys

I went for the safe Baileys Irish Cream. I always wonder why give such a big glass when the portion of alcohol is only going to be so little? Does it not make the disparity bigger? A shot glass would have been just right.

martini

Cherry Martini that tasted quite like a cosmopolitan - cough syrup-ish.

triple orange martini

Triple Orange Martini that tasted herbal. The initial bitterness met with a mild sweetness towards the end, I don't particularly love or hate this. Just odd.

The joke that went round was that the drinks were medicinal in taste. All this while, the waitress was really nice to give us a free exchange.

pina colada

Pina Colada that was way too light on the coconut essence, more bitter infact. Lacked the breezy lightness the tropical cocktail should have been.

nuts

I figure I was the only lucky soul who enjoyed both her baileys and nuts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beijing Provision Shop Finds and souvenirs

from beijing

The cousin excitedly shared her Beijing supermart loots with us..labelling this a MUST TRY. She lugged back enough to quell the withdrawal syndrome. Must be really good, we all thought. Instant bubble tea that has taken Beijing by bubbles...I was really excited.

bubble tea bubbles

Pour in boiling water and watch the magic happen after a couple of stirs.The bubbles start plumping up, the tea turns a familiar creamy shade. Milk tea was decent but the bubbles were a tad too small for the full QQ texture to be tasted. Would I trade Koi for this? Definitely not.

lao nai nai

Old Granny peanuts vacuumed packed! I had these at one of the homes we visited during the trip and started my hunt for these almost immediately.

mad crazy delish nuts

Lightly salted, these crunchies are mad delicious..once you start, stopping becomes a heinous sin.

wasabi peanuts beijing

How could I resist wasabi nuts!

wasabi peanuts

These lack the punch, most unfortunately.

wasabi peas

Another type of wasabi peas which failed to elicit any form of excitement.

sweet potatoes pack

Sweet potatoes miniaturized!

sweet potatoes

Looks like one, tastes like dense kueh. I say stick to the chestnuts if need be.

bj snacks 2

These were sold nearly everywhere, comes in a variety of flavours from chilli to black peper to caramel. Sold by weight.

bj snacks

Simply nut wafers, nothing too extraordinary.

nian gao

Mochis are always had to resist....perfect souvenirs and agreeable across all ages. There were two types 驴打滚(Rolling donkey literally!) and 年糕 (sticky rice cake)

For rolling donkey, it's a signature Beijing snack, made from steamed glutinous millet or sticky rice, scattered with fried bean flour and stuffed with a range of ingredients like yam, red bean and black sesame paste. When you roll it in soya bean-flour, it resembles a mule rolling on the ground, raising dust at the same time. What a poetic name to it!

Both are equally delish soft and chewy treats. 

lu da gun

年糕


bj goodies

驴打滚

Have fun munching your way in Beijing!