Showing posts with label Restaurant Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurant Week. Show all posts

Saturday, December 6, 2014

3rd Wedding Anniversary at OTTO Locanda

Time flies, we are officially married for 3 years. Since I got a gift during the 2nd anniversary, Leecher declared - in fact, way in advance - that I won't be getting any present. Boy, this guy is seriously good at managing my expectations or maybe, I have low expectations to begin with, tsk tsk! Well, a dinner is still a must but I decided that we should head for a place near the office, so we could walk stroll there after work to avoid the jam.
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We headed to Otto Ristorante located at Red Dot Traffic Building. They couldn't find my reservation when I showed them the email. Upon seeing the email, I realised that I had walked into the wrong restaurant! *super paiseh* The place that I had booked was Otto Locanda, instead of Otto Ristorante - can't believe I made such a blunder. Leecher was trying his best not to give me the see-you-also-make-the-mistake-look, lol. 
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Separated by a street, Otto Locanda is a more casual, informal Italian trattoria as compared to Otto Ristorante. We managed to rush there in time to secure my reservation, as they only hold the table for 15 min. We were greeted warmly upon entering the front door and shown to our table by the corner.
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The restaurant exudes a cosy and intimate ambience; the walls are decorated with Italian dinnerware and a personal postcard collection from one of the owners while the shelves are filled with antique Italian memorabilia and recipe books. The bar area, boosting an extensive collection of alcohol, is perfect for those who are seeking to unwind after a long day at work. 
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 After showing us to our table, the waiter swing by and presented us with a glass of champagne each, complimentary on the house to celebrate our wedding anniversary. How thoughtful of them :)
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Can't wait to get started! 
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Warm & crusty bread was served once we placed our orders. Leecher was famished and his hands headed straight to the bread basket before I could even snap a picture.
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We went for a 3 course set dinner and started with breaded saffron risotto ball stuffed with taleggio cheese and green peas on beef ragout. This was absolutely delish, even though I'm not a fan of green peas. The only complaint - the risotto ball is too small!
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For mains, I went for homemade squid ink angel hair pasta with lobster meat and basil pesto while Leecher had char grilled rack of lamb with arugula and sicilian cherry tomatoes salad. Hmm, why was Leecher's main served in fanciful italian dining ware while I get a plain plate? Nevertheless, both mains were well-executed.
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 We ended the meal with vanilla panna cotta & chocolate drops. This was my kind of dessert (anything with dark chocolate & sweet) so I was delighted when Leecher offered his share to me, haha! Happily polishing 2 portions on my own :)
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 Happy Anniversary
Otto Locanda
32 Maxwell Road #01-03
Singapore 069115
Tel: 6224 0978
Opening Hours: Closed on Sundays

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2014 edition: J's

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The 3rd stop for Restaurant Week is J's, a Latin-American restaurant nestled along Purvis street. As I swing open the front door, I was greeted warmly by Joy, the Managing Director of the restaurant. Joy introduced herself, ushered us to our table before excusing herself to attend to another couple who arrived at the front door. 
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With a name like J's, the first thing that popped into my mind was J represents Joy, which is the name of the owner. Later, I realised that not only does J represents the culmination of the many years that Joy dreamt of owning her own restaurant which provides quality food & good service, J also signifies Joy's desire to create a space for her son, friends and community & the Upper Room (located on the 2nd floor) is available for such use.  
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As we sat at the table, I was half waiting for them to provide us with a menu. Well, I was in for a surprise when the scroll of paper placed in the empty glass was the menu.
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Wow ~ I wasn't expecting a personalised menu with my name printed on it :) What a lovely surprise! Leecher was disappointed that he was simply addressed as "Guest", haha! Well, I told Leecher that he can always have the honour of making RW's reservations next time, to get his name printed on it, tsk tsk. 
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Posing with our my very first personalised menu :) It seemed to me that the smaller establishments are making an effort to provide personalised service to differentiate themselves from the big players. I still recalled seeing a personal place-card when we visited Little Diner's last year during Restaurant Week. Sometimes, I think these little gestures go a long way in customers' memories.
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There were only 2 starter to choose from, so we ended up with one of each to try. 
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Popper & Meatball, which consisted of chipotle meatball and jalapeno popper with citrus couscous and mixed greens. Leecher (unwillingly) had mango and avocado salad, consisted of mixed greens with mango, avocado, walnuts, feta cheese, citrus couscous and citrus dressing. I have a special liking towards citrus couscous & I even finished the mixed greens on the platter. What an achievement, haha! 
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Break time before the main courses arrived. Take a break, snap a picture, lol! 
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With 3 main courses to choose from, we decided forgo the vegetarian paella and instead, opted for beef & fish. 
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Leecher's order of Barramundi Filet, served with pan roasted fillet of wild caught barramundi with baby vegetables, mushy peas, potato laces and jus reduction. When the plate arrived, it was like a work of art! I had to take a couple of pictures to capture the essence of the plating while ignoring Leecher's dagger-like stares to start eating.
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As for me, I opted for the usual Sirloin Beef, consisted of grilled Australian grain fed 120 days beef sirloin with cabbage, leeks fricassee and saffron rice puree. Joy came over to the table once again and explained that the sirloin beef is one of their signature dishes (the other being Chicken "Adobo" which was not offered as part of RW's menu). As I sank my teeth into the beef, I was surprised to find that it was really juicy and tender!
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The mandatory "main-course" pic before we start dinner proper, heh!
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Moving onto desserts & once again, we tried the 2 options that were available. 
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Chocolate & Lemongrass ice creams. Needless to say, chocolate ice cream worked wonders for me, but somehow lemongrass ice cream tasted really weird. Even though it was refreshing, I couldn't bring myself to take another bite. On the contrary, Leecher loved it and before I knew it, he finished everything, lol! We also had churros layered with salted caramel bananas, fresh mangoes and coconut-infused mascarpone sabayon. I've always paired churros with chocolate sauce, so this new pairing was quite innovative even though I'm not a fan of bananas. Another of their mouth-watering desserts is "Bocas Negras", a flourless chocolate cake that I would to try for the next trip. 
 J's 
 7 Purvis Street
 #01-01 Singapore 188586
Tel: 6887 4787 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2014 edition: Truffle Gourmet

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Our 2nd stop for restaurant week is Truffle Gourmet, chosen by a dear friend/colleague Stella. Given my special liking for anything with a dosage of truffle, esp truffle fries, I was gamed to try out this new place. Furthermore, Stella is a foodie as well so her choice can't go wrong :) So, we aimed to end work on-time & headed to the restaurant. I love the location, since it was near our workplace and can be reached by walking for less than 15 min. We don't even have to spend time looking for parking lots, lol!
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Located at Club Street, opposite where Platters used to be, I almost walked past this restaurant without noticing it. I was half expecting the place to be full, since most of the angmohs were standing outside with several bottles of beer/wine. To my surprise, the place was relatively empty when we walked in apart from 3-4 tables filled with diners. 
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We were shown to our table near to the kitchen and had the privilege of witnessing the live actions in the kitchen. The chefs all seemed to have chemistry with one another, working silently alongside with the rest of the kitchen crew. 
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We were served with bread freshly baked from the kitchen. Oh, I love the crispness of the grissini. They were so good that I was tempted to ask for 2nd helpings.
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We started dinner with Zuppa Toscana, toscana style soup with cabbage staffed with sausage meat, onion, light tomato and light cream. 
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It was soon followed by Plin Agnolotti, homemade beef ravioli with beef reduction sauce and sprinkled with truffle oil and black truffle cream. I hereby declare this as one of my fave dish! The aroma of the truffle oil reached my nostrils before the dish arrived on the table, making me almost jump with excitement.
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2nd main course was Tagliata Di Maiale Iberico Pluma, grilled Iberian pork served on a bed of sauteed potatoes, onions, peaks, marsala sauce and black truffle. Coincidentally, we had braised pork cheeks a few days ago at ETNA. Personally, I prefer this dish for the fact that it was grilled (instead of braised pork) and also, the overwhelming truffles used to bring out the taste of the dish. 
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 We sat for almost 3 hour in the restaurant, enjoying our food and chatting :) So much catching up to do!
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We ended the course with Torta Al Cioccolato, Italian chocolate cake with truffled whipping cream. I was sold by truffled whipping cream and it was the perfect companion for chocolate cake (^^) 
Truffle Gourmet
49 Club Street
Singapore 069426
Tel: 62225996

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Restaurant Week, 2014 edition: Etna Italian Restaurant

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Another weekend flew passed so quickly that I'm starting to wonder if there is an invisible hand somewhere that is set to quicken the pace on weekends and slowing down the pace on weekdays :( Too much drama-mama that I think I'm hallucinating as well, haha! A quick entry before I head over to mummy dearest place for the usual Sunday family dinner :) This year, we kick-start Restaurant Week with 3 reservations during priority booking and ended up with almost 5 at the end of the period, heehee!
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Initially, our 1st stop was at Latteria but I had to cancel our reservation for we brought parents-in-law out for a meal instead. Thus, our first stop was dinner at Etna Italian, a cozy restaurant located at Duxton Hill. Named after Italy's most iconic volcano, the name ETNA is also a clever play on the words "Every Table Needs Attention" which is the focus and pride of this restaurant. 
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We arrived shortly after 6.15pm (parking woes!) and were shown to our table immediately. The manager reminded us gently that they needed the  table back by 8.15pm for the 2nd seating - this was fine by us since I predicted that we'll be done by 1.5hrs since we were both feeling quite tired from a long day out.
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Pour your own olive oil dip from the bottle that is placed on every table.
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We started the meal with grilled scallops in champagne sauce. The scallops were presented on a bed of rocket salad, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes. It was an appealing sight. The scallops were succulent and juicy and I couldn't get enough of it even though I had already devour 5 of them. 
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Even Chef Leecher thought this dish was well-executed. Leecher had double helping of rocket salad since I dislike the slight bitter taste and in exchange, I get one more scallop, yippee!
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For mains, we had braised pork cheek with truffle potatoes puree. ETNA's restaurant week menu was kind of restricted and patrons did not have any choices to choose from. Perhaps, this helped to keep their standard consistent?
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Honestly, I wasn't a fan of pork cheeks as it was slightly fatty for my taste buds. 
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Dessert came in the form of nougat parfait. Service was indeed attentive at our table - the waitress took time to explain the ingredients & cooking methods for each dish. This little gesture was much appreciated, for it allowed me to gain an insight on the dish. Her explanation added a little colour to my imagination as I pictured the chef working his magic on the dishes.  
ETNA Italian Restaurant
50 Duxton Road, Singapore 089513
Tel: 6220 5513
Opening Hours: 12 noon till 2.30pm, 6pm till 10.30pm (Mon to Sun) 
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