Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gyu Kaku @ CHIJMES

entrance

I'm quite a stranger to Japanese barbeque, teppanyaki is so not part of the equation. This probably counts as one of the first proper visits to a Japanese barbeque restaurant! Most of the barbeque visits have been limited to Seoul Garden. Years back, there was an option of dining at Aburiya but I turned it down for an obviously forgettable dining place (now that I can't remember!).

Bring on Gyu Kaku at Chijmes for a birthday celebration. Reservations are most necessary as some were seen walking away crestfallen.
table

Splashes of black.


gyu kaku

Like Jumbo, Gyu Kaku also offers bibs to prevent hazardous flying splashes of oil and grease.
kitchen

The open concept kitchen where all of the dishes come from.
cold tomato

Cold Tomato ($6.90)
Momotaro Tomato drizzled with Ceasar dressing and topped with Chopped Onions

Ingredients were none too extraordinary but this fulfills the time when the most ordinary ingredients deliver the most stunning dishes - simple, clean and so very refreshing. The ceasar dressing was really good.


Poached Pear Salad ($13.90)
Mixed greens with poached pear, cherry tomato japanese cucumber and crispy wanton skin, drizzled with mayo and citrus soy dressing

I decided against their bestseller of Horenso Salad and went with the preferred poached pear. Loved the wanton skins, salad and dressing but I thought the canned pears were a tad out of place in the garden of greens.

appetizer raw

Assorted Bacon and Sausage ($15.90)

Purportedly good with beer, I was not aware these had to be barbequed first. Nonetheless, yummy bacon chunks - think roast pork but saltier! Sausages were really good too, who says only germans do great sausages?
appetizer

All well greased and cooked, ready to be consumed!
kimchi

Assorted Kimchi ($11.90)
Chinese cabbage, daikon radish and apple kimchi

Certainly was not expecting a wonderful take on kimchi from a Japanese restaurant! More than decent, yum!
beef tongue

Beef Tongue ($28.90)

I don't know what's with me and tongues these days - First was Ox tongue, now it's beef tongue. Grammatically, it should be cow tongue...no? Anyhow, this is acquired. At least in the table of five, only one was a clearcut fan.

Shaved thin, thicker than shabushabu, the beef tongue tasted like it had tendons. Somewhat crunchy and needed quite a bit of getting used to. Liked the accompanying sauce better than the tongue. I'm not sure if wagyu beef tongue would have been a more tender choice but it still freaks me out eating something's tongue!

Karubi Short Rib
Tare

There are 4 choices of marination - rock salt, tare, shio and miso. We headed for tare - sweet soy sauce. Tender cuts of short rib with a sweet finish.
wagyu

Wagyu Karubi (Wagyu Oyster Blade) ($31.90)

The droolicious platter that we all came for. They were having Japanese beef on promotion but I suppose most including us still steer clear of it. Had I been more daring, I would have gladly taken up the offer for Japanese beef! Nonetheless, wagyu hardly disappoints. Neither did this - love the marbling!


garlic chicken

Garlic Chicken  ($10.90)

None too spectacular.
french duck

French Duck with Special Dipping Sauce ($18.90)

The grill was too hot so we ended up burning a few slices...a major pity! This was really good though, flavourful and tasty.
lamb

Lamb and fillet ($14.90)

In all its greenness, I thought lamb was not too bad, nary the gameyness.
seafood

Assorted Seafod ($26.90)
Prawn, Salmon, Scallop, Squid, Oyster

Nothing too spectacular from the seafood either, save for the oysters! How to cook it? Leave the entire foil cup over the grill and watch it bubble - when it does, time to eat! So unctously good, we had seconds ($8.90).

veggues

Assorted Vegetables ($9.90)

Loved the asparagus best!
kimchi fried rice

Ishiyaki Bimbimbap ($12.90)
Rice, minced meat, seasoned vegetables, shredded dry seaweed, sesame seeds

Once again, so very surprised by their rendition of bimbimbap - wholesome and rivals the authentic!
milk pudding

Milk Pudding ($6.90)

Think thick creme brulee consistency with brown sugar syrup drizzled. Wished it were not so thick though.
icecream platter

Assorted Icecream Platter ($12.90)
Yuzu, green tea, milk, black sesame

We ordered the platter mainly for yuzu sorbet. It missed expectations though, coming across as too icy. The milk based ones were a lot better, especially black sesame!
birthday

Birthday surprise by the kind staff at Gyu kaku!
cheesecake

Cheesecake on the house - light cheese cake with a rough sponge at the bottom.

All in, experience at Gyu Kaku was really enjoyable. Kudos to the friendly servers. Food wise, I was not blown away - head for the beef for a better gauge of Gyu Kaku rather than the other meats. Be careful not to over order though, plates of 8-10 slices can add up and we all ended up a tad too full.

Gyu Kaku
CHIJMES

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wedding Dinner @ Marriott Hotel

Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I'll never ask for more than your love

- George Benson, Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You.

I walked away from the 2nd wedding of 2011 with the song lingering in my head. The groom decided to make a music video and do a live performance for his wife and I was touched, almost to tears. Congrats to D and E...finally completing this chapter called "Wedding" after 11 long years. They are one of the few couples that make me believe in love...

marriott

Nuts to keep the jaws busy before the doors are swung open.

tapas

Going to a wedding at Marriott is a first for me and surprise surprise, they served tapas during cocktails - breaded prawns and stuffed mushrooms.

table

The usual chinese tea, white or red...or fizzy drinks.

wedding favours

Wedding favours...! I've amassed quite a collection of them.

roses

I've always had a penchant for powdery coloured roses.

hand carved design

Combination Deluxe Appetizer

The carved bride out of what looked like a carrot at first glance was something else in all of its powdery pink.

cold platter combi

Roasted Pork Belly was crunchy and meaty at the right places but it just did not wow.
Smoked Duck Meat- A tad salty.
Spicy Jellyfish - Nothing much to complain.
Prawn Salad - Prawns were too crystallised in taste, artificially enhanced for sure!
Japanese Unagi - Interesting to find eel on the menu.

prawns and scallops w broccoli

Stirfried Prawns and Scallops with Brocolli with Spicy Sauce
A well marinated one with fresh prawns, scallops and brocolli. Yes, seconds of this delicious start!

sharks fin soup

Braised Shark's Fin with Crabmeat

Nothing too extraordinary.

huge slab of it

Steamed Sea Perch Fillet with Shredded Yunnan Ham, Mushrooms, Mandarin Peel and Ginger

Instead of the usual Garoupa or Soon Hock, we had Perch! Loved the idea of having perch instead...fewer bones and so very yummy.

sea perch

Arriving in such jaw-dropping grandeur - the sheer size of the fillet.I've known perch to be the cheaper cousin of cod and it's been triumphing cod in more ways than one for all attempts. Unctous-tasting succulent flesh with the simplest of soya sauce and ginger accompaniment...more, more!

pork ribs and meatballs

Deepfried Crab Roll accompanied by Deepfried Spare Ribs and Marmite Sauce

What I thought were meatballs were actually crab rolls were a tad overprocessed and the pork rib cuts were mostly bones.

mushrooms and seasonal greens

Braised sliced Abalone and Mushrooms with Chinese Spinach

I hardly complain about my greens and abalone, unless they are an absolute disaster.

crispy chicken

Wan Hao Signature Crispy Roast Chicken

Crispy skin meats tender chicken with a dab of seasalt.

wanhao's signature

Wokfried Rice Diced Chinese Sausage, Chicken, Mushrooms and Minced Dried Shrimps served in Lotus Leaf

The rice package that came was huge, too huge to end off the meal. I honestly do not get why banquets usually leave the carbs to the last where the appetite is least ferocious. Should it not be amongst the first few to fill the tums quickly?

bowl of lotusleaf fried rice

Anyhow, I was and still am unimpressed with Wanhao's offerings - dimsum and alacarte and now to add to the cap, wedding food as well.

Bland and dry rice grains lacking in fragrance as well as flavour. Not the most uninspiring but with such triumph cards like lotus leaf and preserved meats, I was expecting more.

platter of cakes

Love is Sweet

A first of its kind - cakes to end off the meal instead of red bean soup with lily bulbs or peanut glutinous rice balls or mango sago.

Totally loving this! I wish for the future weddings to have a dessert platter of somesort! To most, the main entrees are the emphasis but for me, I usually scroll to dessert at the beginning of the meal.

Truth be told, I was once disappointed with their Deli cakes. Takeaway was frowned upon and dining in was mediocre.

strawberry cheese

Strawberry Cheesecake

Moist cheesecake meant only for diehards, the richness of the cheesecake paired with sweet strawberries made this really delish. Good things do come in small packages.

I could not resist taking a jab of the other's cakes as well.

green tea

Green Tea Cake

Green tea chocolate on top layers of cheesecake and green tea mousse. What was brilliant about it, the layers although many were not soaked through with the mousse.

chocolate fudge

Chocolate Mousse

Did not attempt but it was wiped clean.

Surprising display by Marriott despite the misses.

Marriott Hotel

Monday, August 29, 2011

Billy Bomber's @ The Cathay

I always had a soft spot for Billy Bomber's..it could be the memorable birthday held there eons ago..one that would reduce me to a bucket of tears and to the most unglam states ever. I'll never forget the 1.2 kilo cake the pals got me...nor the effort they went through to make sure I was surprised. 


And then came one fine and dandy Sunday that I didn't have pancakes nor dimsum on my radar so we headed all american! The only other American association I have with their food is Kenny Roger's for roast chicken. Time to load up on their famous milkshakes! Oh, did not hurt that the super duper friendly manager whose happiness seem to be infectious...who ever embraces work on a weekend with such glee?

IMG_1350

Delux Banana Milkshake ($7.90)

Billy's still does it best with their rich and indulgent shakes...complete with ripe banana chunks. This has got to be the Chunky Monkey of milkshakes.

IMG_1355

Rootbeer Float anyone?

IMG_1360

Cheese Fries ($8.90)

Thick cut fries doused in nacho cheese sauce...holy grail of all time! Best eaten hot and they really put the cinema folks to shame with their increasingly horrifying renditions of nacho cheese!

IMG_1365

Billy Famous Ribs ($20.90)
Juicy pork ribs, special sauce, potato salad

I suppose I've had too many bad ribs to know that Billy Bomber's does mean ribs! Meaty and juicy well charred ribs...glaced with a sweet sauce done right. I probably sound like I'm gushing big time about their ribs but it was the case. Comfort food, at its simplest.

It was a lovely meal at Billy Bomber's, the kind you'd indulge once in a while without thinking too much about the guilt...the all american dining experience that appeals so every now and then...it must be Adam Richman's fault!

Billy Bomber's
The Cathay

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ink Bar @ Fairmont Singapore

Headed to Ink Bar at Fairmont out of convenience one weekend...not that it would have been my top choice given City Space just 73 storeys above and Long Bar at Raffles which was equally enticing.There's the option of both counter seats as well as cushion seats...adore their tall chairs!

Both were Ink Bar signatures and logically speaking it would make or break the decision to continue patronizing the bar. I should think Ink Bar has seen the last of me for their concoctions...as much as I loved the peanut platter they had.

new york sour

New York Sour ($18)*

Oddly sour as well, the level of sourness for both drinks were too sharp for any pleasantries. A major disappointment for such a prettyful drink!

white gown

White Gown ($18)*

White Gown got me interested because of egg white used...which by usual standards would have left me squeamish but I felt daring that day. How bad can egg white taste...right! This was just odd. The acidic sour hit me after the potent bitterness ebbed.




nogroni

"No"-gomi ($18)
Tangueray Ten Gin, Lillet Blanc, Aperol

Supposedly a more "approachable version of the classic Negroni", I thought it was too sharp for comfort. Bitterness with every sip but enough for a perfect brainfreeze thereafter.

aviation

Aviation ($18)
Lavender enhanced Hendrick's Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Creme De Violette and Lemon Juice

Presented like a lady's drink with a cherry at the bottom but it was way too strong for more than a sip. On the sour side.

nuts

I could enjoy the jazzy music and cushy surroundings with neverending refills of nuts more so than the drinks. That being said, I have to admit the liquer content in their drinks are the highest to date..enough to leave you wuzzy in the mind and walk out slightly tipsy.


Ink Bar
Fairmont Singapore

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shinjuu @ Robertson Quay

robertson quay by night

Dempsey, Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay. Chijmes...and perhaps Ann Siang Hill are my favourite places...away from all the buzz. Once upon many moons ago, there was a musical showcase at Robertson Square and with that in mind...we headed to Shinjuu for dinner.

It was probably the furry obedient corgi at one of the tables that willed me into the restaurant.


shinjuu


Headed to Shinjuu for dinner one weekend finally after walking passed it on so many occasions and seeing it packed with people. That must have piqued the interest by several notches. I hardly go for yakitori alone for a meal, in fact...I hardly order yakitori in Japanese restaurants...save for the usual Tori-Q takeaways that I've done.

counter

Taking a seat inside the restaurant, I ran the huge risk of smelling like a walking yakitori later.


cabbage

Complimentary bowl of cabbage and appetizers served up. Crunchy lettuce meets tasty miso based sauce - incredibly delicious! I've never reached so readily for raw cabbage ever before.

condiments

Appetizers were starchy lady's finger, yet another oiishii one though the other tables' radish appetizer seemed more appealing.

ox tongue

Ox's Tongue ($9)

The companion insisted I gave this a try. It's one of those dishes that scares you off at the mere mention. Ranges from tender to crunchy, depending which part of the tongue. Sounds gruesome typing this but I loved it. Wonderful flavours but I feel bad eating the tongue of the poor ox.


Grilled Set A ($19)

more skewers


Pork with Asparagus

Lean pork meets juicy asparagus, yummmeh!

Pork Belly

In all its fats and charred bits, I thought it was really good.

short ribs

Beef Short Rib

First attempt at beef ribs: tender, well-charred and full of flavour.

Golden Mushroom Rolled with Beef

Tender and juicy.
chicken balls

Chicken Meat Balls

Rolled in chestnut, these had a slight mush consistency but still loving it all the same.

sashimi

Sashimi

Nothing too out of the world, just fresh.

scallop bacon

Grilled bacon wrapped scallop ($10)

Unfortunately bland. The companion thinks it's to showcase the freshness of the scallops but I thought it lacked flavour. Painfully expensive.

Wonderful dishes executed by Shinjuu though I've honestly had a bad yakitori in Singapore yet. It's just one of those things that can hardly go wrong. Lovely service and delicious food..just pick wisely at the dishes and it'll be a night to remember.

Shinjuu

30 Robertson Quay
#01-15, Riverside View