Saleduck Food Blogger Award 2016 – Vote for me! haha

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Hello everyone! I am nominated for Saleduck Food Blogger Award 2016 organized by SaleDuck. If you enjoy reading my posts, feel free to vote for me over at http://www.saleduck.com.sg/awards/food-blogger-award-2016 ! I am located at the 3rd Row of nominees. Simply click on the ‘Click here to vote’ button and that’s it! Bottom will be a picture of my profile photo just in case it’s difficult to search for me. =)

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Here’s the brief introduction to my blog:
Leading a pretty stressful life we city beings are, food, apart from travel, forms a major part of the many activities that we seek solace and joy in. What started off as just a personal blog, still remains as a truthful diary till this date that hopefully could brighten up your day as you join me for a gastronomic experience! Happy reading!

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Voting ends on 30th September 2016.

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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.

 

 

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Grossi Florentino – Pretty delicious, not the usual Italian restaurant

Grossi Florentino

80 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

IMG_9460Instead of the Michelin guide, Aussie functions with a Hat system, with three Hats being the most prestigious of all. Not too sure how great or marvelous a hatted restaurant should be, we actually got into one on a Friday night without making any booking at all. Not the initial intent as I wanted a hearty Italian meal from some Pizza and pasta specialty restaurant, we decided to give Grossi Florentino a go still as it seems to serve pretty decent grill and most importantly, there are some free tables already at 9pm!

IMG_9461Warm bread with a crusty crust served the moment we sat and we could feel the friendliness in the service already. The menu, though is a little annoying as everything is in Italian (Could the Aussie understand all of them?), was gone through patiently by the amicable waiters and waitresses there who are always wearing a wide smile (Thumbs up for them but I guess they must be very well paid as the minimum wage there is actually quite ridiculous).

IMG_9463S and I both got the O’Connor Hanger Angus steak (200g) each that was beautifully grilled to a light fragrant char while the chunk within still retains its pinkish red hue. Very tender with a beautiful crusty outer layer, this was perfect. $42.

IMG_9464Potatoes roasted with Garlic and Rosemary – Very straightforward, yet with much precision evident in this dish. The potatoes were desirably moist and complemented with that crispy skin, all uniformly permeated with the herbal rosemary; perfect side for the steak. $12. I think this was the only item written in full English!

IMG_9465I need some greens and so the Cime Di Rapa stir fried with Guanciale was ordered. With just that written on the menu, it was impossible to understand without asking. Its taste – A little like the texture of broccolini, flavoured up by the slightly greasy but fragrant cured meat. Not exactly a healthy dish, but a definitely a delicious side. $12.

IMG_9466And we officially proclaimed that the tiramisu over here is legit. A large bowl will be brought to you and before you think your $10 dessert would be the best-value-for-money item ordered from the menu, a large decent portion of tiramisu will be scooped onto your plate. Very moist, strong intense coffee taste with that madly creamy, smooth mascarpone cheese, we finished this big chunk in just a few mouthfuls, without leaving any traces of the cream.

Oh and before we end, Grossi Florentini functions as both a fine-dining and casual restaurant, as they are split into two different storeys. Reckon that food here is straightforward but each familiar dish has been thoughtfully perfected. We were glad that our random choice was a satisfying one!

Verdict: A good restaurant. 3.8/5.

 

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Tipo 00 – Italian fare well deserving of that hat!

Tipo 00

361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

IMG_9444It wasn’t planned, purely coincidental, but it has gotten into one of our must-go restaurants in Melbourne. Trust me not, then google for Tipo 00, and you will be swayed by the almost perfect reviews rendered to them. Specialising in Italian fare, mainly pasta, and tapas as starters or sharing plates, this one hatted restaurant is truly deserving of its award as we would daringly say that the menu over here is definitely not straightforward. Lots of thoughts given to each dish, with some sophisticated pairing of ingredients that kept receiving nods of approval from the people around us, as well as ourselves. One tricky thing is that this restaurant takes bookings early and you really need to plan your schedule at least two weeks ahead if you want to avoid disappointment. Knowing that and the restaurant is also open between dinner and lunch service, we decided to have lunch at 4pm. Afternoon tea it is strictly speaking, but there were only 2 free tables left with some counter seats; we were lucky!

IMG_9447A beautiful toast, glazed with some olive oil that got us slightly hyped up for the meal.

IMG_9448The heavily Aussie accented but friendly waiter recommended some of their starters that were not found on the menu and picking one of the many that sounded familiar, we ordered this Polpo. More like a Spanish dish to me actually as this fresh octopus, with a beautiful consistency, was given an extra nutty body from that familiar Romesco sauce. $18. Slightly smaller in portion but that octopus was faultless.

IMG_9451Gnocchi di patate – braised duck, porcini mushroom and pecorino pepato. Beautiful texture in those little Gnocchi balls and what made it tick was the intensity in the flavour of the reduced braised duck sauce slathered over it. And the pieces of duck meat was consistently fork tender throughout, very impressive indeed. $26.

IMG_9452Tagliolini al nero – squid ink tagliolini, squid and bottarga. And I thought I was going to stain my lips and tongue black with the squid ink pasta, but what was served wasn’t one that is drenched in tar-black squid ink sauce, thus the absence of the heaviness usually associated with such a dish. Instead, this was made really much lighter, with a subtle seafood flavoured sauce, that makes it a dainty yet delish main! $27.

IMG_9454IMG_9455Feeling totally satisfied with the savouries and greens, we decided that its time to move on to the desserts. Without having much expectations, I was very much delightfully surprised by the amount of details put into both desserts that we ordered. They must have some good pastry chef there! Tipomisu – chocolate, coffee and mascarpone. Sounding so similar to its cousin the tiramisu, this actually is a deconstructed one but without the use of finger biscuits. Instead, that chocolate disc felt like a solid dark chocolate fudge-like cake, permeated evenly with that strong intense coffee aroma. This was spotless. $14.

IMG_9456Crespella – warm crespella, ricotta and pistachio gelato. That warm thin crepe, filled with the creamy ricotta, was beautifully balanced off by the extremely smooth pistachio gelato while the pistachio bits definitely gave it a nutty hit. With all elements coming seamlessly together, this was indeed a slightly complex dessert that hit all the right notes! $14.

IMG_9457That was some very refined Italian fare tasted over at Tipo 00!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.8/5.

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Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant – Very American, delicious pancakes!

Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant

31 Purvis Street near Bugis MRT

IMG_8363Finally after so long, I managed to get a table here, or rather the queue was good at least. Visited Clinton Street Baking many months ago and the moment I was told that the wait would take roughly 2 hours, we skipped and this time round, though it is still busy it was just a comfortable 10 min wait, which makes its highly raved about pancake stack even more delicious and satisfying.

IMG_8350The good thing about the wait over here is that you get to go to the nearby air conditioned National Library and once there’s a table available, you will be notified with an automatic call. Very convenient, fast and most importantly you don’t need to wait along the torrid corridors. Settled down, took a look at the big menu and not really into an eggy brunch that day, C and I both went straight for the burgers.

IMG_8347Salmon Burger – House made, with avocado, tomato, baby arugula and tartar sauce, house slaw and gherkin. Yearning for something healthier, I went straight for the salmon burger which came as a surprise as I initially thought it would be a slab of pan fried salmon in it. Fried salmon patty used instead, this was made creamier and heartier by the blob of tartar sauce on top. I like this hearty burger dish. $23.

IMG_8349Black Angus cheeseburger – Swiss and cameralised onions on a toasted French artisanal roll, with hand cut fries and slaw. Big juicy patty, slathered over with the wet caramelised onions, rounded up nicely by fluffy buns and I like how those fried chips still have the skin untouched. $23.

IMG_8348IMG_8361There we go, Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter with wild blueberries. Almost every other table ordered this fluffy pancake stacks and everyone, at least on that day, chose the blueberry topping over the walnut and chocolate options. That’s quite straightforward for us, as logically the blueberries are needed to cut through that thick doughy pancakes and sweet Maple butter; but if you like to have an even sweeter or richer rendition, then get the chocolate as your topping. $18.

Hearty, delicious and good in serving sizes, and also not forgetting the frequent refilling of your water even when the restaurant is packed, this is one of the cafes that I like!

Verdict: A good cafe. 3.8/5.