Archive for November, 2010

Gattopardo

Gattopardo


 

 

Gattopardo Italian Grill & pizzabar, part of The Garibaldi Group of Restaurants is the brainchild of Chief Lino Sauro, who specialised in Sicilian cuisine. Located at the historical Fort Canning Park, it is indeed quite ” out of the way”. It was my second time here @ Gattopardo & the first visit here ( when they first started ) left a good impression .

What makes Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar unique is the Italian Grill. Fresh seafood & seasonal products are imported from the Mediterranean Sea and Japan so you can be guaranteed of freshness. . For those who enjoyed Chilean Seabass & Bluefin tuna , you would be disappointed as they do offer serve any fish stocks that are ” highly threatened” .

Ask for the fresh catch/ seasonal products for the day and let the chef grill it for you. ( Remember to ask for the pricing !)


Bread basket


Rocket salad ($16++)

 

 


I like the presentation of the ricotta cheese in this Rocket salad. The cheese, which is scattered on top of the salad leaves resembles ”clouds” – beautiful. Ricotta cheese is one of my favourite cheese as well due to its mild flavour and low in calories!

 

Dusky Grouper

Credit : Wikipedia

Oven Baked Mediterranean Dusky Grouper in red wine consomme ($34++)



I had the Dusky Grouper served in a sweet red wine consomme. The Dusky Grouper is one of my favourite fish . My dad used to buy fresh Dusky Grouper fillets from his friend , who trawls fish in Pontian . However, the fish is Simply Gigantic and it can weigh up to  40-60Kg, it would take quite some time for us to finish it . Hence, it has been quite a long time since I last tasted the Dusky Grouper meat. It’s best to steam to retain the sweetness & freshness of the meat.

Close up


The Dusky Grouper is said to have the best taste of all Mediterranean fishes. I totally agree with this statement . It has a mild and sweet flavour and the meat was slightly firm . Well, the tastiest parts would be the head & belly ( personal likes).  This dusky grouper fillet is served with capers and olives in a sweet red wine consomme and the sweetness of the red wine consomme helped to bring out the full flavour of the fish meat.

I ENJOYED IT ~


 

Turbot

Credit: Wikipedia


Oven baked turbot fillet with mixed vegetables ($38++)

 


It was my first time trying Turbot and the experience was just average  ~.

The strange-looking turbot caught my attention and I wonder what would be the flavour of this fish. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this fish a try. Recommended preparation would be oven-baked or poached as the meat tends to fall apart when grilled. (That’s what the chief told me )

The turbot fillet is oven-baked and served with some mixed vegetables a dash of white wine. Frankly speaking, I didn’t quite enjoyed the meat as the flavour too mild for me ( almost bland ) .

The turbot is highly prized as for its delicate flavour and is also known as breetbritt or butt. It is a valuable commercial species, acquired through trawling . I guess it’s personal preference that I preferred strong- flavoured fish meat. Anyway, the mixed vegetables were delicious with an oomph of white wine.

Verdict: Remember to check the prices for the seasonal products before placing your order . Prices are reasonable considering the freshness & quality .They do offer a 3 course set lunch menu priced at $34++ . I would return to Gattopardo whenever I feel like feasting on fresh seafood & seasonal products!

Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar

Hotel Fort Canning
11 Canning Walk, S(178881)

Website : http://www.gattopardo.com.sg

Prego

Prego

 


 

Prego, I’m not referring to brand of Italian sauce .

Prego, is an Italian restaurant which belongs to the RC hotels , located at Fairmont Hotel. The restaurant is constantly filled especially during lunch hours & hence calling ahead for reservations is recommended.

Prego’s tiramisu used to be one of the better ones around but I’m not sure whether they had maintained their standard.

 

 

Set lunch menu

 

 

3 course set lunch priced at $40 ++ and $60++ with wine pairing. It sounds like a great deal but be warned (informed) that the portions served for set lunch is small . You might be thinking, how ”small” would that be and does it worth going ala-carte . My answer would be ” Going ala-carte is a wise decision” . The portion served for set lunch is 1/2 the size of the standard ala-carte portion and I would rather pay a little more to enjoy a bigger portion . Well, it depends on individuals .

 

 

 

Prego’s signature bread (complimentary )

 

 

 

I bet no one can ever resist Prego’s signature bread which arrived warm crusty . It taste  great when you dip in the tomato sauce ( with herbs ) . The bread is addictive so try to ”control” your hunger before the start of the proper meal.

 

 

Insalata mista ($16++)

 


Frutti Di Mare ($38++)

 

This is the Italian styled Seafood stew . Frutti di Mare refers to ” Fruits of the sea” and hence you can find a generous seafood in this stew. There were a huge mussel, 3 clams, 3 shrimps , 2 pieces of codfish fillet and a piece of seabass fillet in this tomato stew. Frankly speaking , the seafood wasn’t fresh and the saving grace was the codfish and the tomato stew that was rich and flavourful.  I tend to be biased towards seafood stew / anything that has tomatoes in it ( Personal likes ) .

The mussel and shrimps were chewy and tasteless. I think they must have used the frozen type. The clams wan’t cleaned properly as there was grains of sand in the shells. OMG, I might have gone too far in giving negative feedback on this dish… alright I’ll stop here.

 

 

 

Verdict: Prego still remains a favourite Italian Restaurant @ Raffles City . The calamari & pizzas remains  hot sellers .

 

 

 

Prego

Raffles City Shopping Centre

Fairmont Hotel

 

 

 

 


Bonta Italian Restaurant

Bonta Italian Restaurant – A Re-visit


While not many restaurants are opened on Sundays, Bonta do.  I made a Re-visit to Bonta to enjoy the Ocean Trout & Jumbo crabmeat rolls as it leaves a deep impression prior the previous visit.

 

 

The interior

 


Elegant & classy

I felt that Bonta makes an ideal location for a Romantic dinner .



Set lunch menu

 


Bonta offers a 3 course set lunch menu priced at $32++ and it’s even valid on Sundays! The set lunch menu changes weekly so you wouldn’t get bored of having the same food here.

There were several dishes that were recommended ( by diners and personal likes ) – Ocean Trout & Jumbo crabmeat rolls , Scallops, Zucchini flowers with mushroom ragout , Capellini with ”Live” lobster, Braised Milk fed veal shank , Black Angus Tenderloin & The mango gelato with pistachio crust.

Their signature complimentary Bread cup filled with feta cheese and walnuts is a crowd-pleaser.

I had the 3 course set lunch & ordered an extra Ocean trout & crabmeat rolls (my fav!)

Warm calamari salad with broccoli, roasted bell peppers and capers

 


Capers? I couldn’t find a single trace of capers in this calamari salad.

I was utterly disappointed with this salad as the salad leaves were yellow,withered and dry! The salad dressing was too little which affects the salad- as though I’m munching on grass! They were pretty generous with the grilled calamari though.

 

 

Ocean trout & Jumbo crabmeat rolls ($23++)

The ocean trout were wrapped with generous mixture of fresh crabmeat ( mixed with a little mayo) . I left a good impression in this appetizer the previous visit but this time, I felt a little disappointed .

The ocean trout wasn’t very fresh …

Anyway, apart from the ”unfresh” ocean trout, the presentation was lovely – Garnished with cherry tomatoes, avocados & spring salad.


Grilled Red snapper, watercress salad, green beans

 

 

 

The Grilled snapper came with baked potatoes with tarragon & topped with watercress salad was lovely. Seriously, I felt that the watercress salad does not serve any purpose as the fibres were tough and difficult to chew( serve as a garnish ).

Even though I was not a fan of potatoes, I managed to accept & finished all  the baked potatoes. The baked potatoes were rubbered with tarragon & baked till crisp – a healthier alternative compared to traditional creamy mashed potatoes!

 

 

Crispy apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream, cinnamon emolsion

 

 

The Set lunch comes with a dessert of the day – Passionfruit panna cotta.

Panna cotta sounds boring to me and it was just too ordinary . The service staff was kind enough to replace the dessert to the Crispy apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream .

 


Close up

 

 

The apple crumble was something different . It was the Flaky pastry type ( reminds me of fruit danish)  and there were cubes of  stewed apples & crumbles in the flaky apple crumble. The vanilla ice-cream served alongside was too sweet & ordinary. Th cinnamon emolsion , either you like or hate it , was also on the sweet side . for someone with sweet tooth) . The flaky apple crumble alone is enough to satisfy me.

 

 

Verdict: Hits & misses. Even my favourite Ocean trout & crabmeat rolls fared average. Service were professional & efficient.

 

 

 

Bonta Italian Restaurant

UE Square River Wing

# 01-61

Website: http://www.bonta.com.sg

 

 

 

 

Cova

COVA

 


 

 

COVA, the ”Chi Chi” Cafe located at The Paragon certainly lived up to its name. The decor and setting of the cafe certainly matched up with the status of Tai tais and Expats.

I used to get cakes & pastries from here but was a disappointment. The petite cakes & pastries looked ”cute” and pretty but was literally dry & boring. Their signature cake – The Sacher torte ,was not chocolatety  enough and again , it was dry.

I wonder if the cafe has lowered themselves in terms of status or image. There was no dress code. I could literally see people wearing sandals, shorts , slippers … dressing very casually . I began to ponder….

 

 

Menu

 

 

Once seated, the menu is given. You have a choice of having the set lunch or going ala-carte. There aren’t much selections in the ala-carte menu though.

 

 

Set lunch menu

 

2 or 3 course set lunch menu being offered priced at $32++ & $38++ respectively. For starters, you have a choice of either the Antipasti buffet or soup of the day. I guess no one would opt for the latter as the Antipasti spread looks appetizing enough .

For the mains, you get to choose either the Rigatoni /Capellini/ risotto / meat dish of the day / Baked fish of the day.

Dessert ( 3rd course)  & it’s optional . But anyway, the desserts were   -_ – ” .

 

 

 

The Antipasti spread

 

There offer a wide variety of antipasti. I managed to remember quite a number :

Mushroom salad

– Capsicum salad

– Potato salad

– Artichoke salad

-Crabmeat with french beans salad ( crabmeat not very fresh )

– Grilled vegetables ( zucchini & tomatoes)

– Cold cuts

– Egg Frittata

– Soft Polenta ( soft & creamy, I like ! )

– Beef Carpaccio ( most popular and ran out within a few minutes )

– Swordfish belly carpaccio ( a little fishy but was addictive )

-Seared tuna ( cold, tough and tasteless )

– Smoked salmon ( another crowd pleaser , ran out within minutes )

– Mesclun and butterhead lettuce

– Dressing & condiments ( balsamic vinaigrette & mustard )

 

 

Smoked salmon

 

 

My  salad


 

Clockwise: Seared Tuna, soft polenta, swordfish belly carpaccio, grilled vegetables , mesclun salad leaves with balsamic vinaigrette

 

 

Focaccia bread

 

 

 

It was served cold  …

The bread has bits of sun-dried tomato in it , not too bad would be better if it was heated up.

They actually offer 3 types of bread – Focaccia, sesame cracker & cheese stick. The cheese stick was really ”cheesy” . . I find the cheese flavour too rich for me to handle. Those who like flaky pastries with rich cheese flavour would love this.

 

 

 

Sea perch with asparagus sauce

 

 

I had the baked fish of the day – The Sea perch .

The sea perch was served under a bed for steamed vegetables ( zucchini, carrots & celery) and a touch of asparagus cream sauce. Basically , there’s no fault in the method of preparation but problem lies in the fish. Having tried preparing sea perch @ home, I realised that sea perch has a mild & muddy flavour & the meat is slightly rough and tart.

This is not my kind of my fish…

 

Verdict: The Antipasti buffet spread is worth a try… lots of selections and they are quick & efficient in replenishing  the food. Reservations are recommended especially on weekends.

 

P.S They provide lunchbox delivery too. Check out the brochure in their cafe..

 

 


COVA

#01-20 The Paragon

 


 


Uluru!

Uluru!


Uluru @ Duxton Hill


What a funky name!

Uluru is an Aussie bar & steakhouse located at Duxton Hill . There aren’t many Aussie restaurants in Singapore . I would expect to find Fish & Chips & fresh catch from Australia.Reservations are highly recommended especially during weekdays lunch and weekend brunch.

 

 

Menu


There’s an ongoing promotion and see if you  ”daring”  enough to take up the challenge :

 

”Ultimate Burger Challenge……whopping, great burger with fries and salad, over 400 grams of prime minced beef $60.00……eat it all and it’s free – IN ONE SEATING without assistance! U want real food, try this!”

 

Set lunch priced @ $15 ++

 

Once seated, the set lunch menu is being introduced to you. The $15 ++ set lunch is really worth it. You get to choose either the Caesar salad or the soup and a choice of mains . I could see many opted for the beef sandwich which looks good to me. The portions here are American serving size and they definitely do not cut back on ingredients and portion sizes even for set lunch!

They have another set menu priced at $55 ++ which are dishes selected from the ala-carte menu which includes  a dessert as well.

 

 

Daily specials

 

 

They have daily specials that are not in the menu . Please check the daily specials board for the daily deals!

Oops… I saw Kangaroo loin.. priced @ $60 ++

 

 

Focaccia roll

 

 


Prawn salad with mango salad ($18++)

 

I had one of the daily specials- The prawn salad with mango salsa

This salad reminds me of the ”Seabass & Shrimp Tango salad” from Cedele . They have similar way of food presentation but without the Seabass.

The prawns were really bouncy .. QQ texture that yearns for more ! I enjoyed the mango salsa which was sweet & tangy . Salad leaves were fresh & crisp too.

 

 

Garlic & Butter baked barramundi with sauteed vegetables ($40++)

 

A hefty price tag but worth every cent!

The barramundi fillet was the freshest catch . The chef lightly pan-grilled and then baked till golden brown. A crispy crust with a hint of garlic and salt formed the top layer that was addictive. I enjoyed the crust but it couldbe better if the chef go easy on the salt.

 

 

Close up

 

 

I nearly scalded my tongue!

The inner part of the fish was pipping hot and I slowly enjoy every single morsel of the fish meat… fresh!

There is no need for any dressing or condiments to go along with this fish. It has its natural flavour & sweetness . Thumbs up  ^_^

 

Verdict: The guys from Uluru are friendly ppl. Though the prices are on the  steep side , they are certainly worth it as the portions are bigger and the food is yummy… u get it?

 

 

 

 

Uluru!

40 Duxton Hill

Website: http://www.uluru.com.sg

 

 

 

Garibaldi – Menu Dégustation

8 months passed… I stepped into Garibaldi once again. I’m certain that I would have a satisfying lunch here.

Indeed, I had an enjoyable lunch.

The White ” Gold” at Garibaldi

The Alba white truffles were being displayed at the bar counter and visible the moment you enter Garibaldi Restaurant.

Menu Dégustation

Before coming to Garibaldi , I told myself to hold back and not to over-spent  & probably would just enjoy the weekly set lunch priced at $38++.

However, after looking at the dishes from the set lunch menu , ala-carte & menu dégustation. I  did some comparisons and finally decided to go for the 7 course tasting menu. Perhaps it’s due to the personal preference in some of the dishes in the 7 courses tasting menu that excites me and the ”boring” salmon fillet in the set lunch.

If you look closely at the above menu, there are some slight changes being made as I do not take any beef or lamb and therefore I was allowed to substitute the ox-tail & lamb rack to the Grilled Seabass and a Rucola salad . The price was then reduced to $128++. I love to go for menu dégustations as it allows me to sample various exquisite  dishes in small portions & it showcases the chef’s talents.

Now, let’s begin…

Coffin bay oyster with caviar

The oyster was placed on cubes of ice , came with a wedge of lemon nicely wrapped up and placed at the side. It was like opening a gift.

The oyster was very fresh and in fact the wedge of lemon was not necessary. I gulped  it down my throat … one word to describe ‘‘ shiok”.

Rucola salad

My mandatory salad

One of my favourite salad leaves was the Rocket leaves as it leaves a peppery after-taste. I like it simple –   cherry tomatoes ,parmigiano reggiano and a dash of olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette.

Pumpkin soup with truffle ” mascarpone ”

I enjoyed this hearty soup.

The soup wasn’t too thick nor creamy. The aroma of truffle oil was intriguing and as there was a dollop of mascarpone cheese infused with white truffle . Slowly stirred and mixed in with the pumpkin soup , it was satisfying .

Pan seared hokkaido scallops with caponata & liquorice

~Lovely presentation ~

The scallop was seared  & had a beautiful outer layer that was slightly crusty. I find it a little mild for my liking . The caponata ( aubergine stew) had a tangy flavour which was good.

Seabass with roasted vegetables

No fuss but full of praises for this well-executed dish.

One of my favourite dish in this tasting menu.

The seabass was fresh and definitely NOT the local kind ( muddy taste ). The meat flakes off my fork easily and the skin was so crispy like nibbling biscuits.

The roasted vegetables were tasty as well and the sweet balsamico dressing completes the dish.

Panfried Jumbo prawns with tomato ” San Marzono” and Orange

My Favourite dish of all.

I loved seafood and especially prawns & crabs and when the 2 jumbo prawns were presented to me, my first reaction was  ” WOW”!

Firstly, the presentation attracts me .

Next, I try the sauce which the chef uses the ”San Marzano ‘‘ tomatoes which claims to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world . It  tasted a little weird in the beginning . There were different flavours all mixed up in the sauce which was a little complex. All I can say is tangy & fruity flavour from the orange and herbs from the rosemary & tarragon .

Another shot!

Finally, the prawns were firm but not over-cooked. Prawns that are over-cooked are tough & difficult to chew! I enjoyed this jumbo prawns and how I wished the chef did not remove the prawns head as they were the yummiest part ! ( full of prawn roe )

Rhubarb tart with amaretti & chocolate coulis

I expected the rhubarb tart to be in a form of a ”TART” .

It was interesting to see a rhubarb tart to be presented  this way . The sides were crusty which reminds me of nibbling on some butter cookies while the inner part was soft and have a ”cake-like ” texture. It was a little on the sweet side but paired well with the bitter-sweet chocolate sauce.

The strawberry sorbet was good, really good!  It was so smooth like eating ice-cream!

Verdict: Gastronomic dining experience indeed! Lovely presentation of the dishes and the food was great. The people there are nice & friendly. I would love to visit them AGAIN when my wallet is FULL.

Garibaldi Italian Restaurant

36 Purvis Street

Website : http://www.garibaldi.com.sg

The Black Sheep Cafe- Revisited

The Black Sheep Cafe

It was my third time here @ The Black Sheep Cafe. Lunch was preferred as I can have enjoy my food here in ”peace”. It was quiet during lunch but expect the restaurant to be running full during dinner. A piece of advice – Call ahead to make reservations !

 

 

The Menu

 

The food that regulars come back for- Baked Brie cheese & The Duck Confit.

 

Caesar Salad with prawns ($12.50)

 

I am a fussy eater.

This Caesar Salad with prawns supposedly to come with bacon, croutons and parmesan cheese but I requested to omit all of them. I wanna have a simple & light Caesar salad with prawns. What stands out in this Caesar salad was the dressing. The dressing was home-made and it tasted very different from the traditional caesar dressing . It was slightly yellowish in colour and had a milder flavour. I enjoyed it ~

Snapper fillet ($22.50)

 

The daily specials for fish/seafood was the Snapper fillet. Although I had the similar the previous visit, I gladly would like to have this again. Anyway, there aren’t any choices.

The fish was fresh, thick and firm. It comes with some potato mash and side vegetables which I enjoyed it. The potato mash has cubes of potatoes unlike some that are too mushy or creamy.

Another shot

 

It was a simple way of presenting the dish, no fanciful stuff. All I can say is” home-cooked food’.

 

Verdict: Basically, there are 3 french food places in Little India and I asked Chef Ratha whether his business would be affected. He smiled and answered me with confidence ,” My style of cooking is traditional and many regulars still come back for my food after they have tried the another 2 ”. The confidence level is high and I’m glad this chef takes pride in his cooking.

Do try out The Black Sheep Cafe if you wanna enjoy home-cooked food .

No GST & SERVICE CHARGE

 

 

The Black Sheep Cafe

35 Mayo Street