29th June 2012 not only marked the opening day for Pollen at Gardens by the Bay, but my birthday too! Before I start the review proper, I just wanted to say that it was great to have lunch together with you.
The word of the wise has always been to never try a restaurant on opening night (or day in this case), but I thought… why not give it a go anyway? And of course, hotelier and partner, Loh Lik Peng and his wife sat at a table in the corner quietly observing their latest venture.
To be entirely honest, I like Pollen – it’s bright and cheery (for lunch anyway), in the midst of so much greenery and the food served doesn’t over-promise but doesn’t under-deliver either. The strong air-conditioning within the Flower Dome and the restaurant is a huge respite from the blistering heat outside.
Pollen has to be one of the most blogged about restaurants in Singapore since its opening, a quick search on Google turned up more entries than I had expected. That… or there has been a surge in the number of bloggers covering food.
When one is in Ho Chi Minh City (or affectionately, Saigon), it would be a mistake not to pay a visit to Cuc Gach Quan. The food served here comprises of very down-to-earth dishes that one would find in a typical Vietnamese home. There’s definitely no edible flowers or exquisite plating to speak off., but you do get humble dishes that speak right to the heart.
We ordered a few dishes to share and to tell you the truth, everything tasted wonderful – if only a tad on the salty side. Now, I’m not sure to what extent were the dishes authentic, but a quick glance across the dining room shows both Vietnamese and tourists happily tucking into their meals.
The menu came across as somewhat mind boggling with pages and pages of the various dishes that Cuc Gach Quan had to offer – nothing that assistance from the English-speaking wait staff couldn’t help with.
When I was back in Singapore for my winter break (July 2012), I tried out a new entrant into the already-crowded restaurant scene – The Clan Restaurant, which aims to present the best of European cooking infused with a Japanese influence. The Clan’s located on Bukit Pasoh Road, opposite Andre Chiang’s Andre.
If you’ve been to Dozo at Valley Point or Tao’s Restaurant at POMO in Selegie, you’ll be familiar with the concept of the restaurant. This is of course, not surprising since Executive Chef Ken Teo ran the kitchens of both restaurants for the last 5 years.
Prices at The Clan are extremely affordable – A 5-course lunch costs S$42.80++ and a 6-course dinner costs S$62.80++. There are at least 5 selections for each course (with the exception of the starter – so that’s quite a few options to choose from if you’re going in a group.
For fans of Masterchef Australia, Chef Matt Moran and ARIA Restaurant should be no stranger to you. Overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Sydney’s gorgeous harbour, ARIA is one of the few restaurants that matches a beautiful view with spectacular cuisine.
It was at The French Kitchen (Wow.. it’s been 2 years since) that I first tasted the food of Chef Jean-Charles Dubois. The stoves of TFK have since ceased operating and Chef now oversees the kitchen at Balzac Brasserie at the Rendezvous Hotel.
The Rendezvous Hotel is synonymous with Chinese-style Nasi Padang. The Nasi Padang restaurant has, however, since moved to Central, Clarke Quay. I digress.
The key question remains – Was my experience at Balzac as good at TFK — let’s see….
Au Petit Salut used to be my favourite restaurant, in particular for their value-for-money lunches, but to be frank, APS seems to be a mere shadow of its old self. Not only have the crowds dwindled, the quality of the dishes seem to have somewhat deteriorated. But I’m not one to strike them off just yet.
This is largely a pictorial but you may read my previous posts on Au Petit Salut here, albeit from a while back: (1), (2) and (3)
Won’t you agree with me when I say that this is one of the more colourful presentations on this blog in a while? All said and done, it is with much sadness that I read in the Sydney Morning Herald that “Becasse joins toll of food casualties“. Let’s hope that Becasse doesn’t suffer the same fate as Bilson’s which shuttered its doors sometime in October 2011. With that in mind, I’m hoping that the culinary scene in Singapore continue to thrives and grow – not just the restaurants, but the hawkers as well.
This post is largely a pictorial as the degustation menus at Becasse are seasonal and subject to change.
Five Spice Restaurant was the only restaurant that came packaged wit our Full Day City tour in Ha Noi, so expectations of the meal… well… we had none. With that in mind, the meal surpassed whatever expectations we had and came across as being a relatively safe lunch venue.
During our visit, we were the only table around and mind you, we were there during the peak hours of 12pm-1.30pm. But our tour guide had assured us, beforehand, that the meal would be decent. (But that’s part of their job, no?)
The decor of the restaurant was relatively pleasing to the eye, decked out in rather neutral colours and had simple paintings and replica musical instruments hung on the walls.
I apologize for the lack of new posts recently; with the assignments now over and exams looming in a week, I thought that I’ll quickly publish one of the drafts in my ever-growing back log. Do expect new posts after the 16th of June – I have so many new places that I am just dying to share with you.
This entry is of my meal from many (many) months back and to be exact, end of December 2010. But, it was one of the meals that had me from the get-go and I knew that I had to pen my thoughts down. It was affordable, unpretentious French bistro cuisine at its best.
Video: View a Private Chef at Waku Ghin cooking up a lobster dish (Link to YouTube)
In the recently released 2012 edition of “The World‟s 50 Best Restaurants” list, Waku Ghin was placed at 39th – even higher than Chef Tetsuya’s other restaurant in Sydney, Tetsuya (76th).
Dinner at Waku Ghin currently goes for S$400++ upwards for a 10-course degustation menu. Signature items include Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Caviar and the Australian Wagyu with Wasabi and Citrus Soy.
A less expensive option would be to try the recently launched six-course degustation lunch available only on Fridays which is priced at S$250++ per person (available from 12:00pm – 2:00pm).