img_9344

Kyushu Pancake – Those pancakes are legit!

Kyushu Pancake Cafe

#01-08, Novena Regency, 275 Thomson Road, Novena Regency near Novena MRT

img_9349When it comes to authentic Japanese cafes, I have never been disappointed by any so far and Kyushu Pancake Cafe, hailing from Kyushu, is delightfully delectable and completely satisfying. They may not have a huge range of savoury items which are also pancake / waffle centric, the sweets though are the ones to look out for I reckon. Their forte, if their name has already not suggested, is obviously the pancakes that has the perfected texture, soft, fluffy yet contains a lower quotient of butter as compared to those from the famous Clinton Street Bakery, making it less queasy than the usual American style.

img_9334Classic Salad with Chicken – Refreshing luscious greens, made savoury with that thick sesame flavoured wafu sauce. $9.50.

img_9338Karaage Chicken waffle with Special sauce and honey – Unlike its American counterpart, the Texas Chicken Waffle, the Japanese savoury coating over this huge slab of chicken gave it a huge Asian twist and definitely didn’t clash with that slightly sweeter tasting thick solid waffle that is evidently prepared from some quality batter. $19.

img_9344img_9343Managed to convince the buddy for a Matcha Tiramisu instead of a toast as one could have imagined how perfect that combination of creamy brown sugar Mascarpone cheese would have been with those fluffy pancakes underneath. Smothered by that thick creamy layer, just like what I have hoped for, sprinkled with the matcha powder, this dessert is completed beautifully with the creamy Vanilla ice cream and Matcha sauce. Around $18.

I earnestly felt credits have to be given to them as these pancakes were not made just from any wheat flour, instead it is a combination of specially selected wheat from the different prefectures in Japan, as what is described in their website; a mix which is totally befitting as “one that brings you the natural taste, free of emulsifier, artificial fragrance, additives or processed starch”.

img_9347

Verdict: An excellent cafe. 4.3/5.

 

IMG_9017

Riverside Grilled Fish 江边城外 – Fun if you are adventurous enough

Riverside Grilled Fish 江边城外

Rafflescity at City Hall MRT

One of the bigger names hailing from China with more than 40 outlets country wide, Riverside Grilled Fish has found a large cosy corner at Rafflescity. Ironic it is when I am actually quite intolerant of mala, abhorrent of Sichuan cuisine as I am not in favour for a torturing spicy cuisine that sometimes conveniently lack of fragrance, or rather overpowered by the overdose of capsaicin and pepper! Why would such cuisine exist when balance is obviously off the equation, the question I am always bewildered at. Well, but when made more refined by the more upmarket establishments, things are usually quite different and therefore the urge to give 江边城外 a go.

IMG_9017IMG_9018How it works here – choose your fish, then one of the 9 sauces that you like and then any toppings that you want to be stuffed underneath. Sea bass chosen over here. And for non mala fans, only one out of the 9 will suit us, as I chose the black bean sauce for the grilled fish to be smothered in. The friendly Taiwanese waitress knows the palettes here well, and seems to advise according to our accent as she must have known the locals can’t take these spices well. So a big nono for non mala fans as there is no spicy levels to choose from, just so as to retain the authenticity of it. $35 topped with sausage ($4.50), tofu sheets ($4.50), beancurd skin ($3.50), Green radish ($2.50).

Though the mala was forgone, that bean paste sauce tasted robust enough, lifted up by the adequate amount of spice in it. That redness in the sauce is indeed acceptable, that is able to accentuate the sweetness from the tender, moist sea bass that is still reeking of a beautiful smoke.

IMG_9022IMG_9023This Sichuan flat noodles, which I tried once in Sichuan couldn’t catch my attention at all with a pretty weak consistency in those translucent noodles. While the texture remains brittle here, its more refined preparation made it more palatable. I would have finished it if only that fragrant peanutty sauce was used solely without that mental chilli oil to interfere with the entire bowl. But well, respect is given to the origin of this dish. $4.80.

IMG_9020Egg fried rice, so much to finish in one tub.

IMG_9028Pan fried rice cake with Soya Powder. Very dense, highly compacted and topped off with a fragrant layer of egg, made into a enjoyable dessert when sprinkled with that lightly sweetened soy powder. $6.80.

It was an exciting and fun experience for me even after tailoring it to yield a milder experience which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Verdict: A good restaurant. 4.0/5.

Maziga Indian Grill & Bar

Maziga Indian Grill & Bar

3C River Valley Road near Clarke Quay MRT

Opened by the owners of Punjab Grill, but held in a totally different area that is filled with a more casual crowd, Maziga Indian Grill & Bar could be recognised by their tapas serving style, filled with theatrical effects for certain dishes while new, intriguing elements are thoughtfully introduced into most dishes to spice up the excitement.

IMG_9530IMG_9531Maziga Munchies
Masala Pasta Fries. $9.50.
Tava Grilled Bhavnagri Chilies stuffed with Amul Cheddar Cheese. $9.90.

IMG_9537IMG_9538Bite size Tapas – Sweet & Sour soya glazed Tandoori Jerky Lamb Ribs ($24.90). Tandoor Smoked Apple Salad crispy Soft Shell Crab ($18.90).

IMG_9543IMG_9544Veg Tapas – Paneer Chili Tikka ($16.50). Wok Masala Fries with Chili and sweet glaze ($9.90). One of my favourite cheeses, the paneer over here could have been cut smaller I reckon, so that a higher surface area could be flavoured up with the chili tikka.

IMG_9547IMG_9549Chit Chaat Bazaar – Mumbai Chowpatty Beach Ragda Pattie ($13.50). Old Delhi Golgappa Chaat with Chilied Jaljeera Oxide ($12.90).

Maziga Burgers & Chips & Pizza – Lamb Galouti Kebab in Maska Pav ($12.50). Amritsar Fish & Chips ($9.50). Naan Pizza topped with tandoori smoked chicken or paneer tikka ($12.50).

IMG_9552Main Course Veg – Wokfried Paneer Tacos that is stuffed with a dry masala of cottage cheese and corn ($16.50).

IMG_9553Main Course Non-Veg – Red Snapper ($20.50). This was actually the favourite dish of the night as the soft, tenderised snapper is lifted up beautifully by the creamy sauce reminiscent of a flavourful curry. I had almost one whole snapper on my own.

IMG_9557Desserts – Masala Chai Kulfi White Forest Candy Floss. $13.90.

We see the potential there with the meticulous cooking techniques displayed, but are slightly uncertain if it is wise to have too many fried dishes on the tapas menu as it may not pander to the general crowd.

 

IMG_9476

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Melbourne)

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal 

Crown Towers Melbourne, 130/8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

dinner3 years ago, it was an electrifying birthday lunch at the original Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Londonand this time round, the restaurant is revisited for the same occasion, however, at its second outlet in the Southern Hemisphere, Melbourne. Expectedly, an extremely intriguing meal despite the presence of heavy British influences which usually has an infamous connotation to monotony, yet instead with lots of creativity abound over here. My second visit and still, the star of the day for both the buddy and I goes to the Mandarin appetiser that made Heston a wonder. Sat comfortably, overlooking the skyline of melbourne through the 2 storey-high glass facade, that lies adjacent to the buzzing “open” kitchen, yet still able to enjoy the serenity of the packed restaurant, this was I thought pretty world class.

IMG_9470Started off with the warm, perfectly crusted bread with that precisely thawed butter by the side; delicious.

IMG_9472IMG_9476IMG_9477Lets kick this off with the stellar Meat Fruit. What looks incredulously like an orange, is really a heavy savoury chicken liver pate, made so smooth for a lovely spread on the grilled bread. Rich, pleasantly strong in its iron taste, this was beautifully cut through by the mandarin fragranted gelatin around it; we were floored. What a remarkable appetiser indeed and I couldn’t imagine any table giving this a miss! $38.

IMG_9474Hay Smoked Ocean Trout – Pickled lemon salad, gentlemen’s relish, wood sorrel and smoked roe.

IMG_9480Lamb and Cucumber – Perfectly frenched, cooked to a succulent relish, this main was totally on point as the different elements were brought seamlessly together. And that whimsically looking greens by the side, is made to resemble a fallen log in the woods. $60.

IMG_9478Roast Snapper in Cider – Silverbeet leaves, roast onions and fired mussels. That fork tender snapper, partially drowned in the complementing thick creamy yellow sauce is uplifted by the light refreshing cider aftertaste, making this another excellent main. $56.

IMG_9481And that smooth, buttery mash, sinful as it is, we polished it clean. $14.

IMG_9482Chocolate Bar – Light and ethereal, yet filled with the intense, unbridled dark chocolate punches, this is cleverly cut through by the passion fruit jam within. And the smooth lightly pungent yet not overwhelming ginger ice cream by the side gave it a coveted creamier touch. $30.

IMG_9483Tipsy cake – Slightly alcoholic tasting, together with its amazing fluffiness as you stretch out a portion from the bulk, the pineapple at the side further complemented the bun with a sweet roasted edge. $32.

IMG_9484And thanks to the team for writing so meticulously on the complimentary chocolate fudge dessert, rounding off the meal beautifully.

Wonderful ambiance without a shortfall in its taste, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal indeed has proven to be the best birthday meal yet again!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.6/5.

IMG_8754

Corner House – A scintillating lunch indeed

Corner House

1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, E J H Corner House, (Nassim Gate Entrance), 259569

IMG_8749The place where our prime minister hosted Xi Jinping recently, the place which has rightfully gotten its michelin star when the guide book was just released few weeks back, I can really see why Corner House deserves all these attention after a pretty scintillating lunch here! Extremely meticulous in its execution, from the evident precision in its cooking techniques, the brilliant pairing of the different contrasting and complementary elements to the team’s dainty plating skills, there really isn’t much to pick on such a splendid luncheon. And what makes it even more deserving, is that even the simplest course from the cheapest menu isn’t done haphazardly (which could be the case for some upscale restaurants); with much thoughts and sincerity put into them, they indeed deserve a thumbs up. The three course menu at $58 shall be featured over here.

IMG_8751Warm crusted bread, they serve two different kinds, which I requested for a second round. A little more time was taken to prepare as they are warmed to order.

IMG_8754Hokkaido Scallops – Befitting the Japanese theme, yet not losing the French influences there, this light refreshing plate of Hokkaido Scallops was lifted by the heavier tasting dollops of mentaiko, while adequately cut through by the refreshing green apple slices and beautiful zest within.

IMG_8755Some cocktail was desired for that day and the interesting pick would be the honey and nuts that has a good mix of coffee and alcohol, peppered with nut crumbles above. Slightly sweeter and creamier, this was actually reminiscent of the calorie filled baileys but delightfully crispier. $28.

IMG_8756Loving a fruity alcohol drink, we got the Red Sangria but realised that it isn’t as mild as we thought it would be. Definitely an adult drink here, with an intense alcohol concentration in it. $32.

IMG_8758Patagonian toothfish – So beautifully cooked that this chunk falls off in large, glistening slices, further completed by that creamy, delicious butternut squash relish that gives it a fuller flavour.

IMG_8759M6 Australian Wagyu beef – Nothing less expected but a tender, delicious slab of beef, this has been further complemented by the soy caramel sauce that gives it a heavier umami edge while the mushroom tempura coated with a fragrant batter makes up an outstanding side, that is not only pleasing aesthetically but also has an addictive stretchy consistency. (supplement of $6).

IMG_8762The most applauded dessert of all – Chef’s interpretation of kaya toast. Kaya ice cream flavoured with pandan and coconut, paired with the gula melaka powder and foam, this is indeed an exciting, innovative dessert that is worth a celebration of.

IMG_8763Japanese cucumber sorbet – Green apple, coconut and gin. Perhaps not as easily understood, every element was delicious but perhaps tasted a little more earthy to us.

IMG_8761And yeah, it was for the mum’s birthday! Chocolat “Earl Grey Yin Zhen” – predominantly dark chocolate, giving it a creamy yet utterly delicious bitter chocolatey flavour, cut through literally by the yuzu swirl and given a nutty body by the pistachio crumble, this was expectedly delicious! (Supplement of $6).

IMG_8757And there we concluded a great afternoon lunch, as we love the the slightly sophisticated yet still easily understandable flavours from those classy dishes. On a side note, lets celebrate for Singapore’s first ever gold medal in the Olympics with a red and white cocktail!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.6/5.