Thursday, July 22, 2010

Square Restaurant, Lombok

We always try to go for at least one fancy dinner on holiday, and in laid-back Lombok, there was really only one possibility (Hobson's choice really!) - Square Restaurant, which was thankfully located only about 5 min drive from Qunci Villas. E was very excited upon finding out that the Executive Chef Wayan Budiana had been sous-chef at the famed Mozaic in Bali, which we enjoyed tremendously.

Square restaurant

Square's dégustation set dinner was priced at a fantastic value of 250 000 Rupiah (38 SGD), so being the usual cheapskates value-conscious diners that we are, we ordered one set dinner plus one main course to share.

Square 1

First Course: Foie Gras, Apple Chutney, Sweet-Sour Tamarind Sauce. A generous slab of foie gras, with a lovely crispy seared exterior and melting warm innard, wonderfully paired with a tangy sweetish-sourish tamarind sauce. This was absolutely delicious, with the tamarind flavour melding wonderfully with the salty foie gras. A perfect marriage of Western and Asian.

Square 2

Second Course: Grilled King Prawn with Madras Curry Beurre Meuniere Sauce, Mushroom Risotto, Sautéed Bak Choy. Continuing the Western with Asian twist theme, this sounded strange and we were expecting clashing flavours with trepidation, but it turned out to be terrific! The curry flavour complemented the bak choy, prawns and risotto to a tee, and I thought how talented the chef must be, to even invent such a combination. My favourite dish of the night!

Square 3

Third Course: Tengulun Sorbet with Black Grape, Orange and Strawberry Salad in Syrup. A refreshing palate-cleanser.

Square 4

Fourth Course: Roasted Boneless US Duck, Cream Mustard Seed Sauce and Roasted Beet with Juniper Berry and Gin Infused Demi-Glace, with Mashed Potato. After the excitement and inventiveness of the first two courses, the main courses retreated into safe but competently executed territory. Duck is one of my favourite meats and this was pink without being too gamey. Enjoyable with the sauce! The mashed potatoes were rather chunky and could have done with a bit more "mashing", but perhaps the restaurant was aiming for a more "rustic" treatment?

Square 5

Grilled Australian Beef Tenderloin, Cream Mustard Sauce, Organic Asparagus Au Gratin, "Rinjani Tengulun Berry" Reduction Infused Demi-Glace and Mashed Potato. This was my ala-carte main course order, at 150,000 Rupiah (23 SGD). Pretty good and flavourful beef - albeit not as tasty as Morton's but nevertheless, excellent value for the price.

Square 6

Fifth Course: Square Fallen Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice-cream and Crème Anglaise. We swapped the original dessert in the set menu for this, seeing that it was much raved about by reviewers in the TripAdvisor forum. Was it a case of overly-high expectations? We failed to see what the big fuss was. Square's version was basically an adequate but unexciting rendition of the by-now-done-to-death molten chocolate lava cake.

Square also serves lighter Western and Indonesian and Chinese dishes - burgers, fried chicken, fried noodles and stuff like that. Word of warning though, that these are on quite a different level from the dinner, as we had lunch there and felt that they were unspectacular. I think Chef Wayan only oversees the more expensive dinner dishes and thus the execution and quality is a lot higher!

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