Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ethan

Music credit: Baby Don't You Cry (The Pie Song) sung by Quincy Coleman

Friday, October 21, 2011

Le Saint Julien, The Fullerton Waterboat House

Our first Restaurant Week meal for this October 2011 edition was at Le Saint Julien. With pleasant memories of our previous lunch at Boathouse, I was eagerly anticipating an even better meal at this stalwart of the french fine dining scene. Unfortunately, we found the experience rather underwhelming.

Our starter, the terrine of foie gras and chicken with medley of mushrooms and cress looked tempting and indeed the foie gras was excellent, silkily creamy and smooth, with hints of warm aromatic cognac. However I felt that the cold chicken was a tad insipid and flavourless. Was it our mistake in eating the two terrines separately? Were the duo supposed to complement each other in both taste and texture? But then, we weren't told whether these should be eaten together.

Le Saint Julien_starter

E's main of garlic and parsley crusted skate fish with bouillabaisse sauce was a little puzzling to our tastebuds accustomed to eating skate fish (aka stingray) smeared with generous lashings of sambal belacan. The beautifully crispy garlicky crust, while delicious on its own, did little to complement or disguise the naturally strong tasting skatefish.

Le Saint Julien_Main1

Thankfully, my main of crispy rice with duck confit and truffle oil emulsion, with smoked duck breast sauce fared better. Beautifully cooked rosey pink duck breast slices, moist and tender. Although I must say that I had better duck in France.

Le Saint Julien_Main2

Our dessert of Clafoutis (french traditional custard cake) with signature caramelized chocolate mousse was adequate but unexciting. And that perhaps sums up my issue with this particular lunch at Le Saint Julien. With an occasion out requiring me to conjure up alternative baby sitting arrangements and Ethan's lunch with what seems like 2 heads and 8 hands, I expect much more than the pedestrian, staid, and mundane. I want to taste sparks, excitement, joie de vivre and passion. Sadly, I didn't get any of that at Le Saint Julien.

Le Saint Julien_Dessert

Le Saint Julien
3 Fullerton Road #02-01
The Fullerton Waterboat House

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Novus (guest post by W)

Note: I ambitiously booked three restaurants for Restaurant Week, and this is the story of the second restaurant. Guest-written by my lovely friend W.

Emma emailed me earlier in the week asking whether I would like to take over one of her two lunch reservations this weekend, as baby E acted up when she and E went out for lunch on Monday, and she didn't think they should leave him at home two days in a row this weekend. Since Z and I were already booked for dinner tomorrow, I decided to take up her offer on Saturday. Just as well, since Z and I have never gone to Novus before..

Turned out to be quite a modern looking restaurant (a little strange, considering it's situated in the National Museum!), with the decor geared more towards its bar than restaurant, perhaps. The service was attentive, possibly coz the restaurant was completely empty when we arrived. For the $40 set menu, there were three options each for starter and main (including one veggie option each), and two for dessert. We were pleasantly surprised by the bread basket, which arrived with olive oil/vinaigrette, flavoured butter and some olives. This was followed by the amuse bouche, crab meat mousse flavoured with wasabi, served on a black sesame cracker. Nice touch!



For starters, Z had the cured salmon, topped with dollops of yuzu gel and oyster leaves - very zesty and refreshing. While I went for the foie gras anglaise, which was like a custard made from duck consommé and foie gras, embedded with strips of duck meat and a chunk of foie gras and some gingko nuts. Certainly a new take on a traditional favourite..



For the main, Z had the red snapper served on risoni, which was cooked to a nice softness. I was disappointed that there were bones in the fillet - not very becoming for a fine dining restaurant, surely! My choice of stuffed and rolled chicken was pretty nice, cooked sous vide to retain the moisture of the chicken breast, stuffed with wild mushroom and served with a medley of seasonal mushrooms..



We each chose a different dessert, with Z having the Valrhona Chocolate Test, literally 5 types of chocolate desserts in increasing concentrations of cocoa content. Interesting, though perhaps the first three (aerated mousse, souffle and sorbet) were better than the last two (custard and dehydrated chocolate). I had the Black Sesame & Mango Creme, both of which were very very flavour-full. I particularly liked the fact that there was strawberry ice-cream in the centre of the black 'snowball', even if the taste wasn't particularly strong.

Z and I both enjoyed our meal, and more importantly, felt that the restaurant had gone to great lengths to make the dining experience a lovely one. For each of the courses, the restaurant would provided a little card with some information on the dish or the ingredients used. At the end, on our way out, the service staff also handed us a little Chinese takeaway box with a cupcake each! Very nicely done, and a fitting end to a good meal!