Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Emmanuel Renaut at Gordon Grill

We went for another Michelin chef promotion at the Gordon Grill, Goodwood Park Hotel, this time featuring 2-star chef Emmanuel Renaut of Flocons de Sel, in Megeve, France, which is an upmarket ski resort area. Being in a mood for some celebration we pulled out the boat and had the 6 course lunch degustation with:

- Freshwater Crayfish with Chantilly of Sweetcorn and Coriander
- Polenta Ravioli, Cepe, Truffle and Juniper Juice
- Chilled Herb Soup
- Langoustine Royale with Apple & Jasmine
- Beef Parmentier with Hazelnut & Black Truffle (E's selection)
- Pigeon in Dandelion Juice (My selection)
- Meringue of Milk Ice Cream (E's selection)
- Tube Almound & Cherry (My selection)

I particularly liked the Crayfish appetizer, which had nuggets of lightly chargrilled crayfish (the chargrilling brought out the taste of the crayfish beautifully), and a "jello" of crayfish stock at the bottom which was intense and full of seafood flavour. The layered flavours reinforced and echoed each other wondrously. We were also impressed by the complimentary dish (the second amuse-boche) of a millefeuille of green vegetables with mushrooms (shown in the top photo, source ST). It was a wonderful meal - not perfect, but close enough.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jalan Kayu Otah

My favourite otah in the whole of Singapore, at this humble little shop along Jalan Kayu (it is next to Jane's Cake Station). Their spicy otah packs a mean punch, with lots of very fresh tasting fish meat nicely chargrilled, and it is always piping hot, due to the high turnover. I usually buy 9 to 10, which don't even make it home since they find their way into our stomachs during the drive back.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Santaro, Amara Hotel

This was really quite a bit of a letdown. I went with high expectations, given the good word-of-mouth that I had been hearing from various sources and that the chef was a protege of Chef Nogawa (the grandmaster of sushi in Singapore, all kow-tow now).
The quality of the food was only a tad above average, with only the chawanmushi that I thought was rather good (smooth and eggy, I just wish the chef could have used a tad more yuzu zest in it). Wasabi paste was given instead of the real stuff, and there was no change of tea after the main course. Service was rather slap-dash and there was quite a bit of raised talking in Chinese and Hokkien just outside our private room. No doubt we were there for the set lunch which is the cheaper option but I expected quite a bit more given that Tatsuya can deliver much higher quality at a lower price to boot.
No more Santaro for me, I will be going right back to Tatsuya, Sushi Yoshida and Inagiku.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Teck Sing Paper-Wrapped Chicken, JB

Yes, our original plan was to go to Bamboo. But we changed our minds when we took a peek at Bamboo after our Bak Kut Teh lunch - it was not very crowded and the customers didn't seem to be eating with that much gusto. On the other hand, the next door eatery, Teck Sing was packed to the gills with happy locals slurping down their cze cha dishes.

So when we returned for dinner, naturally Teck Sing it was. We were very glad we did. The paper-wrapped chicken smelt so good and fragrant when it was opened and the meat was tender and simply melted in our mouths. The chicken is actually a small kampong chicken which is good for small groups who want to try more items on the menu. The peanut soup with chicken feet was very good too, if somewhat on the salty side, with 8 chicken feet (yes, I counted) which I love. The only slight let-down was the fried potato leaf, as I think the chef was heavy-handed with the oil. The total cost was a somewhat unbelievable 30 ringgit (12 SGD).

Ah Soon Bak Kut Teh, Johor Bahru

Carpe diem, seize the day and so off we went to JB on the Labour Day public holiday. I had decided to eat the famous paper-wrapped herbal chicken even before we had stepped out of our house but 1 hour later, got waylaid by the sight of hordes of happy locals tucking into steaming claypots of Bak Kut Teh, or pork rib soup not far from our original destination. 3 huge steaming vats of bak kut teh were boiling furiously away on the stoves next to the entrance, making our entry a precarious one for fear of being scalded by the hot soup.
Ordering was fast and superbly efficient despite the very busy shop. The soup had a very slight pleasant herbal taste and was tasty and steaming hot. They add a little sugar to the soup (something that I personally don't care for, but many people like the added complexity) but fortunately it did not leave too much of a sweetish aftertaste on my palate. Very affordable fare at 20 ringgit (8 SGD) for two of us, including the side dishes and Chinese tea.
Ah Soon is located at 3/5 Jalan SUtera Satu, Taman Sentosa, JB just 5 minutes walk away from the famous Bamboo paper-wrapped herbal chicken (that will be another post).