Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maison Kayser @ Raffles Place : New Outlet with New Items


I couldn't be happier to learn that Maison Kayser has opened a new outlet in Raffles place and it is just within walkable distance from my office. The swanky outlet is brighter and spacious than others, with a full glass display showcasing the pastries and bread. 

Immediately, my eyes were drawn to the new items such as the Kaya eclair ($6.50) which was decked in a fluorescent green frosting. With so many Asian fusion French desserts popping up in Singapore these days, it is never too late for them to ride on the wave. This is one good eclair that is perfumed with the aroma of Pandan coconut and not overly sweet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Peranakan and English Afternoon Tea @ Pan Pacific Singapore




Ever seen a pot of curry with "roti" in a hotel afternoon tea?

Not for me as it was my first time having a delicious bowl of chicken curry served with artisan French baguette for a non-buffet afternoon tea. This tasty dish is part of the newly launched Peranakan Afternoon Tea at the Atrium, Pan Pacific Singapore that goes beyond traditional scones and jams. The curry gravy wasn't too fiery at all, yet so thick and richly fragrant that had me using those crisp baguette toast literally as a spoon to scoop up the wonderful goodness. The old school traditional biscuits were nice little touches that evoked childhood memories. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Basilico @ The Regent : Taste of Mountains and the Seas

From the very first bite--a Squid ink Burrata with Smoked Salmon and Caviar to the final mouthful--invariably an epiphany burst of chestnut honey cream in a petit choux shell--dinner at Basilico unfolds with a series of unorthodoxies and witticisms. Whether it's my first or Nth visit, there is always pleasant surprises that keeps me wondering what will be coming up next. 
Wine-drunken cheese
This is not char siew. It is Beetroot Cheese
If I didn't had the menu next to me, I think I would not have touched the odd looking Orange cocoon-shaped stuff on this plate. I'm glad I avoided such a grave mistake as this was such a tasty plate of hand-kneaded Beetroot gnocchi with Boston Lobster. The gnocchi was soft, chewy and pretty cheesy, paired off with a discreet asparagus cream that smoothened the robust flavors. This is one of the new dishes on the seasonal-rotating menu of "Mari e Monti", a year-long series produced by Executive Sous Chef Angelo Ciccone and Basilico Head Chef Luca Beccalli that draws inspiration from the mountains and seas of the Italy. 
A dinner here theoretically goes by 3 courses of antipasti, ala carte main course and dessert but realistically speaking, it's probably 10 courses or more since it is in the style of buffet for antipasti and desserts. 
One of the highlights that evening was the Squid Ink Risotto that would be available for the first quarter (25 Jan-3 April) which focuses on region specialties from the Appenini Mountains in Central Italy. Though the shallot sauce seemed detached from the rice, the risotto wore fine flavors of the sea and the exceptionally tender cuttlefish exuded a lovely smokiness. 

Also from the same region is the Roasted Pigeon with Seasonal Baked Vegetables while the Grilled Sea Bass and Octopus will only be rolled out in the next quarter when the focus shifts to ingredients from Adriatic Sea, the East Coast of the Italian Peninsula. I prefer the fish to the wild poultry as the former achieved a better balance on flavors and textures.

That dish was brightened by the Spicy Datterni Tomato sauce and roasted green olives, with a tasty crispy squid ink risotto cake. There might be plenty of elements here but the cooking was underpinned by an almost luminous depth of flavor. 
To conclude, we had the crispy Chestnut Honey Bigne, which was just as sweetly satisfying as the Almond Tartlet with Cherry Compote and Lemon Meringue. In fact, I was not aware that the golden cream puff had been deep-fried until after the meal. That was really heavenly. Of course, there is still PLENTY of other quality desserts to indulge free-flow as long as your stomach space permits. 

It is always so fascinating to see that the chefs are always thinking out of the box to create something new and exciting for diners. Yet, everything carried out so smoothly without compromising on quality. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Basilico has constantly been recognized as one of the best Italian restaurants in Singapore that promotes Italian lifestyle and culture and food. 

Now I'm sure you know where to head for quality Italian food.


Basilico
Regent Singapore, 2F
1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249714
Lunch 12pm-2.30pm (Mon-Sat) / 12pm-3pm (Sunday)
Dinner 6.30pm to 10pm 
Priced at $88++ per person
Tel: +65 6725 3232/3
For email reservations: basilicogrm.rsn@fourseasons.com

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Itadakitai 頂鯛 : No Fish No Life

"No fish no life". 
These words were the first thing I saw when I reached the restaurant. They were painted on the door curtain and made me laughed as this is the first time to see this for a Japanese restaurant.

And when we stepped in, the place was so noisy and seated with few groups of customers despite the fact that it was only 30 minutes past their dinner service time. 
Contrary to the name, this place does not serve only fish. 
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