Monday, December 01, 2008

Steak Lovers Association November Dinner

Ok where we go!

I volunteered to help source for a place and negotiate the menu for November's Steak Lovers' Association dinner and gladly fixed it at Cherie's Pan. This small casual bistro has its merits- central location, near an MRT station, good value, above-average food and comfortably air-conditioned. It helps that I've eaten there a few times and gotten to know Aisha, the Manager, who has been extremely helpful with the menu negotiation and dinner details. Big thanks Aisha!

So without further adue, here's my recap of the dinner.

Dinner kicked off with some bread and olive oil (but I was busy herding lost sheep cows and didn't get to take the photo.) Haha.

Then came the starter of Australian Crabmeat Served on a Bed of Baby Spinach with Balsamic Dressing. It was a very nice mix of fresh flavours with the crab meat lightly-seasoned and mixed with chopped bell peppers. The baby spinach provided a lush, soft bed of greens dressed simply with balsamic vinaigrette. Certainly puts the 'A' in 'appetiser', especially at 8pm on a Friday night!

And what better to comfort hungry souls than a warm bowl of Wild Mushroom Soup. This was creamy and dotted with bits of fresh mushrooms.

The main course was either the Pan-Fried Ribeye Served with Béarnaise Sauce
and Lyonnaise Potatoes, or Pan Oven Roasted Wild Seabass Topped with U.S. Scallop Served with Sautéed Courgettes and Lemon Vinaigrette. Being afraid of being an outcast and accused of not fighting global warming by getting cows off the fields (and into our stomachs), it was a unanimous vote for the ribeye for those opting for the set dinner! Woot!

The steak was a chilled Australian Ribeye, about 300g and though not a fantastically-over-the-moon kind of steak, it was more than decent. As requested, it was seasoned with salt and pepper, and the Bernaise sauce was served on the side. The steak surface had a glaze of caramelized fragrance of beef fats, most possibly oozing from the ribeye's own fat. Hearty and sufficiently tender, it was my pleasure to wolf it down...slowly between sips of wine, pieces of conversations and generally running around.

Then it was time for dessert- Oven-Baked Fuji Apple Served with Vanilla Ice-Cream. The apple was baked with cinnamon and sugar which helped balance out its tartness. Unfortunately, the vanilla ice cream spotted small ice crystals, probably due to slow or uneven freezing. While the texture was more of ice than cream, I was happy that the chef at least made an effort. Real vanilla beans were used and it wasn't conveniently store-bought. After all, this place isn't known for ice cream.

All is forgiven...especially after the wines. Haha. And talk about wines... I had arranged for five Brazilian wines for the dinner- One sparkling, one white, two reds and a dessert. I absolutely loved the sparkling!

Miolo Milesime Brut Espumante 2006
Fortaleza Do Seival Pinot Griggio 2007
Fortaleza Do Seival Pinot Noir 2007
Terranova Cabernet-Shiraz 2006
Terranova Late Harvest Muscat 2005

Forgot to take a pic of them too. Oops! Maybe I'll take a separate picture of new bottles and insert it in later. Haha. Maybe.

A few strokes of genius were struck by SLA-ers coming up with portable heart defibrillator and a suggestion of a durian outing! I think food and wines bred creativity eh.

It was a really great night of food, wines and fun as we met many new faces and indulged in fellowship! Our first Friday SLA dinner guys!! I had fun planning part of this dinner and it was truly this cow's pleasure. Hope you guys had a good time too!

17 happy SLA-ers. Cheers and as always, thanks to Thomas for liaising and coordinating with the SLA-ers!

A side note on the food at Cherie's Pan. You'll find that I've described their food as 'above-average' in the opening of this post. But for the specially-arranged SLA set dinner ($31 nett, excluding wines) that we had, the food was generally much better and a notch higher than their usual menu offerings. So kudos to the kitchen team and great job, Cherie's Pan!!

Cherie's Pan
21 Tan Quee Lan Street
#01-03 Heritage Place
Tel: 6835 7969

Chew On This: Cherie's Pan will be closed for about a week in December for renovations. So do give them a call before you head down. Sadly, with the next-door child-care arm doing better business than the bistro, it has been decided to downsize Cherie's Pan while expanding Cherie's Hearts.

*Group photo courtesy of Thomas.

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