Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Awesome Birthday Dinner at Bistro Du Vin with the Family!


I had originally planned to have moo birthday dinner with my famooly at a certain popular steak frites place but as it was fully booked, it was time for plan B. And I'm glad it doesn't mean plan B is any less superior...for the experience was easily one of the best dinners I've had in a while.

A perfect platter to share the fat love was the Charcuteries ($30)- a wonderful assortment of pork pate, duck pate, duck rillettes, Iberico ham and saucisson. The varying salty, meaty flavours punctuated with earthy, sometimes herby accents begot oohs and ahs at the table. In a perfect world, this plate together with some good crusty bread, butter and a bottle of red wine would make me one very happy cow.

But this is no perfect world, so we had some moore food. Moohaha.

The Escargots ($15) were a classic featuring Burgundian snails cooked in butter and garlic. Easy to pop. Too easy.

You knew I still had to have my steak right? Lol. Le Steak Frite ($42) was decent with the Australian grain-fed Angus ribeye, French fries and Béarnaise sauce. Good flavour though I wished for a thicker cut for a more satisfactory chew.

But as it turned out, it was the chicken that received a golden star that night. The Coq au Vin ($33) was outstanding! The combined heady flavours of the red wine, pearl onions, bacon chunks, carrots and mushrooms had permeated the pieces of chicken nicely. Sweet, rich yet balanced, the accompanying sauce was a tasty dipping pool for fries and spoonful of mashed potato.

After the cow and chicken (hey sounds like cartoon superheroes!), the ball was in the pig's court. Cochon de Lait Confit ($42 for leg) was a leg of suckling pig with beautifully crisp and tasty skin, let down by a rather mushy texture of the meat.

Sides that accompanied the mains include Mixed Green Salad (simply done), French Fries (not bad), Sauteed Mushrooms (Delish!!) and Mashed Potato (alright). These can be ordered ala carte too.

Then it was time for sweets.

The Pink Tiramisu, a special listed on the menu board, looked and sounded moore intriguing than it actually tasted. I think I know someone who would like this dessert on first sight! Moohaha.

And viola, the ceremonial birthday cake (which the bistro thoughtfully provided) in the form of Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream ($10) to end the meal and mark the passing of yet another year of blessings which I am thankful for. 

Famooly. Made the meal all the more memoorable. :)

We shared a bottle of Chateau Grand Corbin Manuel, St Emillion Grand Cru 2008 ($80) that night. This was quite elegant and balanced with aromas of dark berries and plums. A little meat meaty too? Or was that the lingering aftertaste of fab Charcuterie.

Bistro Du Vin
#02-12 Shaw Centre (other branch at Zion Road)
Tel: 6733 7763

Chew On This:
These black and white photos near the ceiling brought flashbacks of my bestie Ryan who did elective module 205 Black & White Photography in NTU with me. Moobe I should post those photos to relive the fun memoories of many late nights spent in the dark room developing photos. Hmm...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cze Char Birthday Dinner with The League at Kok Sen

Hitting a popular cze char place for dinner means having to wait for a table but the 20-minute wait was worth it...cos it's moo birthday lah. Moohaha.

The food at Kok Sen, was we later found out, was overall pretty good.

I like that the Prawn Paste Chicken ($18 for medium) featured different parts of the chicken rather than purely the wings. Crispy and aromatic, these were scrumptious and I was tempted to go for a second plate but we had several dishes lined up.

A deceivingly simply dish of Bitter Gourd with Pork Ribs ($20 for medium) was outstanding. The rich, savoury flavours with pleasantly bitter notes beckoned for rice. A nice touch of smokiness here too.

A seemingly popular dish here, the Big Prawn Bee Hoon Soup ($30 for medium) was a robust soupy dish with the orangey-brown broth imbued with prawns and sambal. Quite spicy and sedap though the big prawns were a tad overcooked.

The dry version presented itself as Big Prawn Hor Fun ($30 for medium) which had a thicker, starchy gravy with a beaten egg stirred in. I found this too heavy and mooch preferred the soupy version. :)

Mooving on, while the 3 Eggs Spinach ($17 for medium) was bland, the Fu Rong Omelette ($10 for large) was very good. Fluffy, deliciously greasy and dotted with bits of char siew, I would have been happy with just this omelette and rice. #truestory

To end the meal, the Claypot Yong Tau Fu ($19 for medium) arrived. Big pieces of pipping hot yong tau fu slathered in a tasty unknown brown sauce saw this dish disappear before one can even spell m-o-o-h-e-h-e.

T'was a great dinner with good friends...and I think this photo sums it all up.

Kok Sen Restaurant
30-32 Keong Saik Road
Tel: 6223 2005

Chew On This:

Kok Sen offers "back lane al fresco dining" complete with graffiti-sprayed walls amidst the conserved two-storey shophouses. A sure sign of the new hip quotient of the once red-light area.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Easter Brunching @ The Knolls, Capella

Life has been throwing me lemons recently so it was a relaxing, wonderful experience to enjoy Sunday Champagne brunch on the tranquil grounds of the Capella.

This Easter, The Knolls rolls out a Mediterranean buffet spread with some special dishes alongside their staples. On the whole, here's what to expect.

The Smoked Salmon Rilette with Caviar & Blini was moreish with its delicately salty and moist salmon rilette, pearls of caviar and fluffy soft blini.

Fish for the Turbot, an outstanding dish featuring premium flatfish known for its firm white flesh and delicate flavour. The accompanying roasted herb veggies were scrumptious.

For something fun, try the Foie Gras Popsicle Dipped in Chocolate. Sounds whimsical but the combination works nicely.

I'm no big oyster fan but I know of several people who will go gaga here. Moohehe. The Knolls serves a variety of oysters from Cadoret, one of France's oldest farms.

Grab a few slices of cold cuts and salami from the Charcuterie board. I added them to my bowl of nachos with guacamole and hummus by the side.

A few live stations, including a grill, were set up just outside the entrance of The Knolls dishing up ice cream, ravioli, wraps and yummy sausages (quite spicy) and pork pieces.

Lamb fans should not miss the Lamb Royale, a large platter of different parts of the Agneau de pré-salé otherwise known as the "salt meadow lamb'. Sourced from France, these lambs graze on pastures with high salinity and iodine content, giving them a distinct taste. 

Also from France were the chickens used in the Salt Baked Yellow Chicken. Corn-fed, free-range chickens (with French passports. moohaha) were encrusted in salt and baked resulting in juicy, flavoursome poultry. There were even 3 flavours to choose from! All were rather Provencal in flavour profile.

If you are wondering if the chef is French seeing that many of the produce are from France, yes he is! I was guessing he would be from the South of France given his lighter touch and liberal use of herbs. My guess (after a few glasses of Champagne) turns out right. Presenting the affable Executive Chef David Senia!

Speaking of Champagne, free-flow Taittinger will be served for Easter brunch.

There was a nice looking spread for desserts but knowing moo...

...this was dessert. Moohehe. I love the cheese cupboard here. Moo favourite was the aged Comte! :D

Ok ok. I did have some "real" desserts including the chocolate tart and these absolutely delicious cookies! And a bit of bread with butter. Siao, you might think but the butter, moore specifically Beurre d'lsigny, is fab fat! Hey maybe these cookies were made with it.

The lively tunes of the four-piece band serenaded guests as the band made its way around tables. A nice touch to the relaxed yet classy brunch vibes here at The Knolls.

Easter Brunch (20 April, 12.30pm) is priced at $228++ per adult with free-flow wines and Champagne; $188++ per adult without alcohol.

Thanks to Leanne Sim of the Capella Singapore for hosting me.

The Knolls
Capella Singapore
Tel: 6591 5046 

Chew On This: A fun egg hunt is available just for Easter. Find three Easter eggs hidden on the grounds of the Capella Singapore and stand to win prizes such as a one night stay in a one-bedroom garden villa, dinner for two at Cassia and a 90-minute signature massage at Auriga Spa!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Dinner with the League at Table @ Pip's

After Cherie's pizza birthday party, we explored the Bukit Timah area- first going to a hipster cafe then milling around Lorong Kilat and stumbling upon this quiet place for dinner.

A staff handed out a pamphlet as we walked by Table @ Pip's. Prices looked pretty reasonable. And the smell of the meats on the grill strategically placed right outside the restaurant got our attention.

Here's what we had.

Pip's Garden Green Salad ($5.90). To find walnuts, rocket leaves and dried cranberries in the salad at this price was great. I was half-expecting iceberg lettuce. Moohehe. Decent though under-salted.

The Escargot Bourguignon ($6.90) was scrumptious and well liked by people at the table. These babies were baked with garlic butter and came placed atop white button mushrooms. Earthy, flavoursome and juicy.

Also good for sharing around the table is Potato Skin ($3.90). These strips of crispy potato skins drizzled with sour cream were fun to eat.

Mooving on to the mains, the Grilled Sirloin Steak ($18.90) was plated with Shimeiji mushrooms, potato au gratin and pea shoots. Steakwise, it lacked flavour.

The Duck Leg Confit ($14.90) fared mooch better with its crispy skin and tender flesh. Ratatouille and orange demi glaze provided some flavour and textural contrast and variation. And yay! No pea shoots! Moohehe.

My cow-loving (different from beef-loving) friends opted for the Chive Salmon Steak ($14.90). I took a small bite and found it moist with the salmon and chive puree pairing well together. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction added a slight sweet-tart balance to the dish.

From the Weekly Specials menu on the table standee, the Seafood Risotto ($24.90) featured a nice mix of prawn, seabass, mussels and squid cooked with creamy risotto grains. Didn't quite take to the raw grassy notes from the pea shoots though. Yes, yes. I hear you. Cows should eat grass. :p

Also on the Weekly Specials menu was the Seabass Arabbiata ($19.90). Ribbons of homemade fettucine were coated in a spicy tomato sauce with a good balance between the heat of the chillis and the tang and sweetness of the tomatoes.  

Dinner was enjoyed with a bottle of Cellier Yvecourt Bordeaux 2009 ($60.50). Juicy red fruits dominated. Simple and easy drinking.

At this mooment, I need to apologise.

I skipped desserts for a bowl of noodles and pork porridge at Bukit Timah Hawker Centre instead. MOOHAHAHA. There's a Durian Chocolate listed on Pip's menu that sounded intriguing though!

It felt somewhat nostalgic and happy to be back roaming that part of Bukit Timah with poly pals just like we did over 10 years ago. :)

Table @ Pip's
17 Lorong Kilat
Tel : 6467 6867

Opens: Daily 11am - 3pm, 6pm-10.30pm

Chew On This: They have BBQ Crocodile Ribs on the menu. Sounds like something to try the next time!