Coriander Leaf – Trust the immaculate waitress there I say

Coriander Leaf

Chijmes near City Hall MRT

IMG_8567Located on the second floor of Chijmes, it might not be the most conspicuous location, but this chic – looking Coriander Leaf still receives a sizeable number of customers as we continue late into the night.

I always have my reservations for tapas in Singapore as they are always, like what the foreigners I met a couples of weeks ago describe as, anorexic portions served at an exorbitant price. Which truly enough is exemplified by Coriander Leaf to a certain extent. Food is decent, not bad and I say listen to the recommendations from this immaculately dressed lady there as she really knows what’s good. Menu broken into 5 different categories, from which we had 1 each.

IMG_8570Coriander salad with wood ear mushroom, chilli and barbecued baby squid. While I was hoping for a really refreshing mix, this looked and tasted more like a garnish than a wholesome salad, as it was lacking the fragrance that it really just needs. Tasting sour throughout without really much flavour, the pairing between the barbecue squid and coriander seem out of sync. $12. The other salads though, sound more appetising than this.

IMG_8573Charcoal grilled baby lamb chops with harrisa pepper paste, yoghurt, dried chilli paste and pickled onions. These were delish, the thick pepper and chilli paste overcoat that the smokey tender lamb chops had, lifted the savouriness of these smokey tender lamb chops. $29.

IMG_8576Before we forget the unassuming looking Naan, they paired really well with all our dishes. Very well balanced texture over here; stretchy and yet so fluffy. $3.

IMG_8578Samia’s signature frontier chicken, coriander seeds, chilli, yoghurt cream, mizuna and lemon. These coriander seeds tasted somewhat slightly similar to peppercorn and together with the yoghurt cream by the side, this dish felt interesting and szechuan / Indian influenced in flavour. $20.

IMG_8579Fried baby market fish, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce, chilli padi. The best dish of the night, and one that isn’t anorexic without a heavy price tag. Super crispy fish lashed with the umami tasting fish sauce spiced up with the chilli padi, it was a overall familiar taste that excelled on the Asian tastebuds. $20.

IMG_8572Soft Shell crab, salted duck egg yolk sauce, curry leaves. This must sound like a must order for most I believe which indeed went well with us with its robust, thick creamy egg yolk sauce. $18.

IMG_8580White rabbit condensed milk ice cream, mango granita, leche flan, sweet potato, jack fruit, frosted flakes, shaved ice. The initial thought of forgoing desserts for another restaurant was reverted when we saw how beautiful and luscious they looked when served to other tables from afar. And the regret set in immediately after a spoonful. Really rough, bland unevenly shaved ice which felt more like ice cubes. The tastes of the many seemingly alluring ingredients unfortunately could not manage to reconcile with each other and it was quite a complicated mess. $16. I reckon the other desserts that go with a theme will be the safer options.

Definitely fusion-oriented, Coriander Leaf still remains a decent restaurant despite some of its misses in this dinner as they seem to have the potential. I reckon, go for the more familiar dishes that have a theme and leave the unexplored to the waitress to decide for you! Then again, service is pretty good while ambiance is definitely lovely for a slow, relaxing meal.

Verdict: A good restaurant.

Lime Parkroyal on Pickering – The first Maine Lobster Buffet!! The Lobsterfest!

Lime Parkroyal on Pickering

Near Clarke Quay MRT

IMG_8267No more Octoberfest as we immerse ourselves in the first ever Lobsterfest this season! From now till 30th Dec 2015, a hearty lobster buffet will be served on every Wednesday for $98++ at Lime Parkroyal that includes free flow of beer, juices and soy milk.

We may have very well heard of Sg’s favourite – the more common crab buffet but a buffet themed with Lobster may be the first for me! Having a bigger interest in lobster, largely due to the preference for a firmer bouncier meat, my interest was greatly piqued the moment this lobster buffet was featured on ig. Made an appointment the day it was launched, and the first month has been fully booked. That is, perhaps, a testament to the rarity of a lobster buffet.

Lime Lobster-001Featuring mainly Maine lobsters, they are presented deliciously as the main ingredient in a myriad of cuisines. You get a taste of the Singapore style; what else to expect but the popular chilli lobster, black pepper lobster that are both stir fried with the addictive wok hei. Turnover is so quick that you could spot the chefs continuously whipping out baskets and baskets of fresh Maine lobsters from the heavily used wok from the open kitchen.

IMG_8275So succulent-looking as that bright shimmery orange shell calls out to you. Luscious meat within that has been fully permeated with the spicy savoury chilli sauce and remember to soak it up with the deep fried man tou to complete the beautiful experience. Indeed, A double serving was needed for me to make it a thorough one!

IMG_8278And the black pepper one tasted super intense with its thick coat of spicy, pungent black pepper, that serves to awaken your sleepy tastebuds!

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IMG_8264My other favourite station, the lobster laksa! This aesthetics of this bowl of laksa is really wicked sick I felt, so beautiful that your appetite would be ready to repeat this station anytime. Together with the thick, aromatic broth, this already perfected laksa is further lifted by the chunky maine lobster which is cleverly soaked in a pot of water lest its meat turns dry and tough. And that sealed the deal, 2 bowls it was for the buffet-savvy me.

IMG_8266Moving away from the sg delights, this mini italian lobster pasta was on point, al dante and looked so photogenic with the small crustacean, lashed with the lobster-base sauce.

IMG_8243Hola! What we have here; the Spanish Paella that was surprisingly delicious as the texture of the rice was spot on! The texture shouldn’t be a given, especially at a buffet when things are cooked in huge quantities and the word ‘meticulous’ could be conveniently forgotten. This was made thoughtfully with the reduced crustacean stock, so adequate that the rice was full of crustacean umaminess. Hidden within this pile, you could get lovely mussels with huge fresh succulent prawns and lobster claws!

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IMG_8244Amongst the crazy Lobster spread, lets also not forget the other shining stations as they cleverly inject a beautiful variety to the buffet. The lap cheong fan and stir fried noodles were both filled with loads of savouriness and the huge bits of lap cheong definitely made it into a stellar pot of rice! Not featured here, the curry chicken was also an easy favourite for us as its curry, undertaking a more Indian slant, has permeated fully through the tender chicken meat. If only we have some roti there!

Lime Lobster

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IMG_8270 IMG_8268To end this seafoody buffet off, the spread at the dessert counter will definitely do a splendid job. An eclectic spread from the usual cakes, to nonya kueh to the signature green tea fondue, my biggest favourite was the petite but potently intense durian penyat drizzled with some molten gula melaka. You could see these shot glasses depleting and being replenished the fastest as discerning Sgreans swept them up relentlessly.

IMG_8251And what a night these crustaceans have brought to us by Lime at Parkroyal on Pickering. So book it before it ends, but lets hope this could be a yearly affair.

Verdict: A good Lobster buffet

Lighthouse Bistro & Bar – Marvelous Bistro that will never break the bank!

Lighthouse Bistro & Bar

Wavelink Building, next to Lavender MRT

lb8Despite looking slightly retro and gaudy with its neon-lit fitting for its restaurant name on the outside, Lighthouse Bistro & Bar actually boasts a really modern, current and family-friendly interior that is staffed with immaculately dressed waiters and waitresses, some even in blazers actually. Tasty, delectable, fresh with no traces of MSG detected, the menu over here is priced incredulously affordable for its quality. Beats me but am guessing it may have got to do with the slightly lower rental in that area.

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lb7 lb8It is a crazy meet-up with the high school buddies, and the usual picky few, loved this bistro recommendation. The fisherman board, filled with the usual grubs – juicy fried fish fillet, beautifully blanched mussels flavoured with sweet and sour chilli, succulent fried prawns made rightly intense with the light mayonnaise. While the most exciting bite was the perfectly sauteed calamari; made so fragrant with the finely chopped fried garlic that is cut through seamlessly by the zesty lime. $18.

lb4Having a penchant for seafood bisque, this prawn one was summoned. Thick, creamy and soothing, this strained broth of crustacean prawns deserve to be applauded with its stellar taste! Though my love still lies with my all-time favourite lobster bisque, a $9 bowl like this is definitely a good substitute!

lb9The Malaysian-influenced Angel Hair was spot on with its ultimate balance of spices, wok hei and umami, not forgetting the perfect al dente-ness of the pasta that gives it a lip-smacking slurp. A very exciting dish; this is by far, one of the best fusion made right. $17. And I love how appetising this looks as the pasta is compressed into a dense block. Yums! Continue reading

1933 – A refined local taste by the Breadtalk group

1933

Capitol Piazza near City Hall MRT

IMG_8107Venturing into the league of ‘finer’ dining, the Breadtalk Group has recently set foot in the refurbished classy Capitol Piazza; not a Breadtalk or toastbox-turned-patisserie but the more upmarket restaurant 1933 that serves wholesome mains. The concept? To whisk you back to the 30s but with a bigger twist and a more polished taste. Common as it is, most may be skeptical of the quality and worthiness of such local cuisines that could have been easily found in our neighbourhoods. But over here at 1933, I would say, makes every penny worth it.

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IMG_8110The opening dish already, has the standards set. A bitty broth with mashed carrots in it, this bread bowl of Power Carrot was quickly gulped down. And even this may seemed to be loaded with bread, a bread bowl of soup or curry is a must-order as this beautifully carved bread has just the perfect combination of a super crusty skin and an ultra fluffy interior. $9.60. Being a little picky over here, it would have been impeccable if the soup could be reduced a little more to concentrate the essence of the carrot and ingredient within.

IMG_8118 IMG_8119Full of unregrettable carbs, this Nanyang Curry Chicken tasted really robust with its flavourful curry stock and the spiciness was just right for me, not exactly mild and enough to keep your senses piqued. Expectedly, the rotund bread bowl was savaged by us after soaking up all the curry goodness. $14.90.

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IMG_8122Showcasing a more western slant from 1933, this Grilled Pork Loin was satisfyingly chunky and made fragrant by its own fat within! $28.90.

Continue reading

Town Restaurant – Very good pastry and Shao La chefs

Town Restaurant

Fullerton Hotel near Raffles Place MRT

DSC_1144My first time dining at Fullerton Hotel and did so as I have a 30% discount voucher for restaurants at Town, Jade and Clifford at Fullerton Bay Hotel. That helps to reduce the seemingly premium seafood buffet priced at $80 after GST and service charge to a more affordable one at $57, one which you wouldn’t mind even if there are quite a few misses. My take on this buffet? They have really very good dessert and Shao La (roasted meat) chefs. Still, Rise is my top choice for a really good buffet.

DSC_1142Complementary with this buffet, the well glazed lobster was not too bad, slightly lacking in the right chewy springy consistency that a super fresh lobster should have. Some parts are slightly tough while some others are a little soft.

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TownSome of the dishes served at the starters section. Poached prawns that were quite fresh but not the best I had as they might have been poached for too long, thereby compromising a little on its supposedly springy texture. Didn’t get the other seafood as they could be found in almost every restaurant buffet.

Town-001The Japanese section which tasted pretty normal as well.

Town-002The hot dishes were better I felt. The fresh crayfish, yang zhou fried rice and shio sake (pan fried salmon with salt) (not featured here) were the highlights for this section while the satay was really quite bad in my opinion. The meats were passable though a tad dry, but the watery diluted nutty sauce just made it bad.

DSC_1121Just before all hopes were lost, our meals were brightened by the super fresh, tender and fragrant steamed chicken and together with their self-concocted chicken rice chilli, it tasted delicious!

DSC_1140Not only is the chicken addictive, his cousin duck and the other roasted stuff like char siew and sio bak were equally impressive as well. Very tender meat over here glazed with a not too overpowering charred fragrance, the shao la is worth repeated ordering. There was actually an ang mor who went back 3 times.

DSC_1147And then the awesome spread of desserts that made our $57 buffet (after GST and service charge) worth the price tag.

DSC_1127Singaporeans favourite nonya kueh; they were all very fragrant and has the right constant consistency throughout. Love the cute little ang ku kueh as its skin is not overly starchy and goes very well with the smooth yellow bean paste filling within. Smothered with tapioca fragrance, the tapioca kueh was also another favourite for me. I also had an enjoyable time munching on the fluffy kueh lapis!

DSC_1129And the western desserts were irresistible as well. The super fluffy tiramisu sponge wasn’t wet and I like that while its mascarpone tasted light and just of the right sweetness. Super delicious that I got a few big scoops for myself.

DSC_1130Creamy, milky creme Brulee was nicely coated with a thin layer of caramel and that was addictive as well.

Town-003And some of the deliciously dense cheesecakes, walnut cakes and lemon meringue tarts. They were so good that you can keep popping them in your mouth. But then again beware of the calories.

DSC_1133And the super delicious praline cake topped with cranberries and apricots was a nice finish to the selection of cakes. A slightly more chocholatey taste on the whole, this will be a hit for all chocolate lovers.

DSC_1137This chocolate tart was full of chocolate goodness. Simply, it has a soft tart filled with thick fragrant chocolate and that gives a sweet end to the meal.

So, in my opinion,Town restaurant on the whole felt OK, quite worth the money if and only if you have the 30% discount or if there’s any other promotions. Priced at $57 for us, C still didn’t find it is worth the money though she concurs with the stellar desserts and shao la served over here. As there were a sizeable amount of misses, I am skeptical of the $80 price tag. Service here is however, good, first class as they are very prompt in filling your glasses and clearing your plates. Not too sure about the overall layout though, as some tables are in the midst of the hungry crowd and feels slightly rush due to such a layout.

Verdict: An above average restaurant.